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eBay is not legally responsible for counterfeiters

The UK high court sided with eBay in a suit brought by L’Oreal. The cosmetics company tried to hold eBay liable for damages for the sales of counterfeit L’Oreal products. eBay has won similar cases in Belgium and France. The implications for authors is that pirated works will continue to be sold and its up to the authors to use the tools that eBay provides to get those auctions removed.

The downside for eBay is that if it doesn’t rigorously police its offerings, people might begin to lose confidence in the products sold.

Via Techcrunch

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. Nadia
    May 22, 2009 @ 09:00:14

    The downside for eBay is that if it doesn't rigorously police its offerings, people might begin to lose confidence in the products sold.

    This is precisely why Amazon Marketplace is kicking eBay’s @$$.

  2. vein
    May 22, 2009 @ 13:29:16

    I would hope all ebay buyers were already caerfula nd sceptical, it is no more reliable that a big garage sale.

  3. DS
    May 22, 2009 @ 15:52:36

    EBay lost the lawsuits brought by LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton and Hermes in Europe and was ordered to pay compensation. EBay won the Tiffany case in the US.

    I can’t use EBay. I feel so bad if I get a good deal on a purchase that I will often Paypal the seller the difference between my winning bid and what I would have paid for it if the item was in an antique store. That sort of defeats the purpose.

  4. Mary Winter
    May 22, 2009 @ 23:18:06

    Oooh, don’t get me started on ebay. As someone who used to sell on ebay for many years (over 1000 positive feedbacks for everything from paperbacks, to clothes I “shrunk” out of, to model horses), I can tell you a few things…

    1) The new user agreement basically has ebay taking over the dispute process and ordering the buyer to “destroy” anything they feel is an imitation or counterfit good. And then, they will charge the seller the cost. This is going to get really interesting considering a) they do not have the legal right to do this and b) ebay is already a haven for scammers on both sides of the buying/selling fence.

    2) Ebay has tanked big time. Most of the smaller, casual sellers have left. Some like me, who had it as a quasi-business have left, and sell through listings of ratios are in the toilet

    3) Ebay doesn’t care. From listings that practice fee avoidance, to store sellers who violate ebay’s Terms of Srevice with outside links, to buyers scamming sellers … as long as ebay gets their listing fees, they do not care.

    Good sellers know, get delivery confirmation of everything that’s sold and better yet, use a secret “seller’s mark” and photograph serial numbers, because there’s a good chance that someone is going to file a SNAD with paypal to get thier money back, and they don’t even have to send back the goods.

    I used to love ebay, but it’s business practices drove it into the ground, and rulings like this don’t help. The “Seller Central” board at Ebay is a real eye-opener.

  5. Jude
    May 24, 2009 @ 19:15:39

    Yeah I bought a DVD which I thought was an original new copy, but it turned out to be a bootleg knockoff. Ebay didn’t care and did nothing to the seller. Totally turns me off of buying DVD’s from them anymore. They’re not that much cheaper anymore, anyway, thanks to greedy sellers that overcharge on S&H. blah!

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