Monday, February 26, 2007

Court from India does not buy eBay arguments


Some time ago (almost a year ago) I wrote about how ridicule was eBay's claim of being only a venue or, in the European Electronic Commerce Directive language, a mere conduit, due to be an active part of each transaction and getting a percentage of it. However, for reasons only known to judges' pillows and legislators wallets, eBay had succeeded in getting away with being the instrument used to trade counterfeited goods at monumental scale, until now. J.K. Rowling and Warner Bros have obtained an injunction from a judge in India in the action they brought in 2004 when books of Harry Potter stories were put up for sale on Baazee.com, the old name for eBay’s India operation. The analysis of the writer and publisher's lawyers as presented in The Times of London is similar to that of last year's blog, but not because I am that insightful but because it is obvious: eBay is less a mere venue than Grokster was vicariously liable and for some inexplicable reason the later was shut down and the former is thriving...

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

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FireMeg said...

While this lawsuit certainly is big news, the bigger story on eBay is the recent spate of hacker attacks by Romanian hacker, Vladuz, and the associated hundreds of thousands of scam listings and hijacked accounts (including those of eBay personnel) over the past week.
http://firemeg.blogspot.com
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z5b6wdLfaHE

feneuk said...

While it can be argued, with some reason, that a severe hacker attack is a "big" news because it shows that security in some big companies is not as tight as it should, the macro impact and the system wide consequences are almost nil; it is just another instance of criminal activity that sooner or later will land the perpetrator in jail. The issue with the lawsuit has system wide consequences because it touches the definition of certain type of e-commerce sites as simple venues and may lead to a re-definition of some business models.