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Sunday, May 24th 2009

12:17 PM

eBay should have been held accountable.

eBay wins L'Oreal court battle over counterfeit goods

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eBay's use of advertising keywords will be reviewed

UK High Court rules auction site cannot be held reponsible for fake products sold online

Written by Angelica Mari

eBay has won a court battle initiated by cosmetics giant L'Oreal over the sale of counterfeit goods on its web site.

L'Oreal argued that the online auctioneer could prevent the listing of fake products on its site, but the UK High Court ruled eBay could not be held reponsible for some of its sellers engaged in such activities.

"There is nothing in eBay's systems and policies which favours or encourages the listing or sale of counterfeit goods," said judge Justice Arnold.

"On the contrary, eBay Europe take active steps to prevent or at least minimise such activities. The fact that eBay could take further steps does not affect this."

However, eBay's use of advertising keywords was referred to the European Court of Justice for clarification - a positive outcome for the cosmetics group.

Judge Arnold also offered suggestions of actions eBay could take to tackle the sale of counterfeit products, such as requiring sellers to disclose their names and addresses when listing items and looking closely at negative feedback left by site users, but none of the measures is compulsory.

"The fact that it would be possible for eBay Europe to do more does not necessarily mean that it is legally obliged to do more," he said.

In 2008, eBay hosted 2.7 billion listings globally, with 0.15 per cent identified as potentially counterfeit.

"When companies try to prevent genuine items being sold through the internet, they demonstrate that they are out of step with consumers, how they use the internet to shop and, at this time when every penny counts, the importance of shopping around to get the best price," said eBay's head of trust and safety Richard Ambrose.

"Following legal victories for eBay in the UK, US, France and Belgium, we reiterate again that cooperation and dialogue is what is needed, not litigation. Only by working together can we collectively address the issues that concern eBay, rights owners and consumers."

Reader comments

Comment title:  eBay should have been held accountable
Why the courts do not hold them responsible is beyond me, for they are the providers of this so-called auction site for these thieving people who make their business and livings off these counterfeit goods.  Is this a good display and an example of what our courts of law is made up of?  It is OK to steal as long as you receive your fair share. Just look at what eBay has done and had caused in this 8 billion dollar a year business called the art industry. 
 People now are just finding out that the so-called MFA experts around this world are coming to the same conclution and are now saying the National Art Museums and Prominent art collections are being considered to house up to 50%,... or even more as being fakes.  What has really brought out these scams from the past,..... is the actual use of PC's and all these more modern technologies being developed and used in computer science classes in universities. 
Just look at newly developed soft ware programs developed by more intelligent minds, programs which can now combine artists hand writings with the fluidity of their brush strokes along with the rest of their idiosyncrasies. I'm mostly talking about their own masterly personalized techniques which they had used in creating their own works of art.  The computers will now through percentage values disclose its findings along with using many other newly developed programs of computer program analysis. These technologies will tell art collectors of this worlds what is correct and what isn't,... not as "say so"  to speak,.... while having the wool pulled over their eyes as in the past.
So the logic of all this,... is for you to hang on to those unknown masterpieces some of you are trying to sell on eBay for just small amounts, of what they are worth, while the supposed MFA experts accuse you in saying you are the actual fraudsters, and you all are ruining the art market,..... or should I say theirs!
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