Sunday, October 26, 2014

EBay and PayPal Profiting from Sale of "Resell Rights" to Dean Koontz, Jeffrey Archer, Robert Ludlum

EBay does not post the name and contact information of a copyright agent on their site.

Therefore, IMHO, EBay does not qualify for Safe Harbor under the DMCA, at least in Northern California, if it could be argued that Oppenheimer v. Allvoices, Inc is a precedent.

Quoting from a blog on Lexology:

"In the case of Oppenheimer v. Allvoices, Inc., the plaintiff, a professional photographer, alleged copyright infringement by the defendant. The defendant is an online service provider that publishes various audiovisual content.......... The United States District Court for the Northern District of California held that the defendant "may not invoke the safe harbor … with respect to infringing conduct that occurred prior to Allvoices designating a DMCA-related agent with the Copyright Office"


This might be interesting to Random House, given that Dean Koontz appears to have an address in California.

I am not posting this to encourage anyone to knowingly (which it would be, if you follow this link )
to try to buy "Resell Rights" to any living or recently deceased author's body of work. The point I want to make is how outrageously eBay turns a blind eye to the most obvious copyright infringement.

Perhaps I would hesitate to talk about turning a blind eye, except that I have a record of correspondence that I had with eBay CEO John Donohoe's office in which I pointed out multiple instances of copyright infringement, and suggested that, given that EBay can force would-be sellers to  provide every detail of the weight, package size, shipper they will use and much more before the seller can complete an auction listing, EBay could easily use the same metric to oblige sellers who claim they own the copyright and the right to sell resell rights to 55 Dean Koontz stories, and 29 short stories by Jeffrey Archer, and a bunch of works by Robert Ludlum.

I believe that EBay deliberately chooses not to even try to educate sellers about copyright. The quotes below show gob-smacking ignorance of copyright law. The fault is eBay's, IMHO, because they allow alleged falsehoods to be published and perpetuated.

Alleged falsehoods such as this:
This a PayPal only auction.  Upon Payment this eBook collection will be sent to you within 24 hours.
Attention eBay Staff:  I am an Authorized Reseller of this product and also the copyright holder or I have resale rights to this eBook or item.

Full Resell Rights are Granted by the copyright owners to sell these eBooks with Resell Rights or Master Resell Rights Granted! This ad complies with all eBay rules and regulations.

"I will send this item by postal mail. Sending this item by email or by any other digital delivery method is not allowed and violates eBay policy."
On the rare occasions that a copyright owner discovers an infringement, joins VeRO and submits a take down notice before the auction ends, buyers of the illegal items are not informed that they bought an illegal item, or that they actually did not acquire Resell Rights (or, they weren't a year or so ago.... and if they are now, this particular seller appears to be unaware that he does not own the rights he is offering to sell.)

Also, eBay posts "Have One To Sell"? "Sell Now". That implies that anyone who buys Dean Koontz's books, or Jeffrey Archer's books, or Robert Ludlum's books from this seller is welcome to relist using the same template, doesn't it?

If this listing truly complies with all eBay rules and regulations, IMHO, EBay's rules and regulations are woefully and deliberately inadequate and or inadequately communicated to users.

One seller boasts that he is not greedy. He readily claims that he has created multiple copies of the ebooks in different formats: "I have multi platform converted these ebooks so more people can read them on multiple readers"

It is easy not to be greedy when one sells "stuff" for which one did not pay!

I sincerely hope that someone raises the matter of EBay and how difficult it is to takedown this sort of thing at the USPTO multi-stakeholder forum on October 28th.

Rowena Cherry

A reminder that the USPTO and NTIA will host the fifth public meeting of the Multistakeholder Forum on improving the operation of the DMCA notice and takedown system. The meeting will be held on October 28, 2014 from 9:00am - 12:00pm in Berkeley, California at the UC Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall, Booth Auditorium, 215 Bancroft Way, Berkeley, CA 94720). The weblink to access the live webcast for this meeting is: The phone bridge information for remote participation is: 1-888-453-9955; Passcode – 6039037.
At the meeting, the Working Group will report on the substance and progress of its work to date. Attendees of this meeting will thereafter have an opportunity to respond and further discuss or identify matters for the Working Group to address.
For more information about the Multistakeholder Forum, please visit the Multistakeholder Tab at: For an archive of documentation relating to past meetings of the Multistakeholder Forum please visit
To register for the meeting, please follow the instructions at: 

No comments:

Post a Comment