Feeds

French union demands eBay blocks fakes pre-emptively

Counterfeit crusade

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

An industrial lobby in France is seeking damages from eBay to compensate for the site's sales of counterfeit goods. The Union of Manufacturers (Unifab) is to complain to prosecutors and seek compensation for its members.

The union told news agency Reuters that it believed eBay was not doing enough to combat sales of fake goods through its auctions. It is about to file a complaint to prosecutors about eBay and other auction sites.

Auction sites have traditionally been reluctant to monitor auctions because of the huge numbers of items listed, but lawsuits have been brought against them. France was at the centre of one of those in 2001 when it ordered that Yahoo!'s US auction site ban listings of Nazi and Ku Klux Klan related material from being available for sale in France.

"We think eBay is perfectly capable of policing its site, but they offer to take action only after the fact. They refuse to act pre-emptively," Unifab chairman Marc Antoine Jamet told Reuters. "We think they have the IT to manage their sites, to track bank accounts and ownership."

eBay says it has an anti-counterfeit scheme and that it does monitor auctions for goods that clearly infringe manufacturers' rights. The company encourages copyright holders to contact it regarding any auctions of goods that violate copyrights. It is understood that in some situations eBay does proactively monitor some auctions using keywords.

Jamet is an executive with French luxury goods company Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy, LVMH, which now tracks counterfeit sales online. He said the case would seek damages to recover losses caused by counterfeit sales.

The development is the latest French move taking on the might of Silicon Valley. France has long legislated to keep Hollywood from dominating its cinemas and is now legislating to prevent US technology companies from taking control of its cultural and business landscapes.

The French parliament passed a law this year demanding that Apple ensures that music sold on its iTunes site could be played by devices other than its own iPod. It also legislated to control the sale of Nazi memorabilia on online auction sites, a move which affected all Yahoo! and eBay sites, and not just those designed specifically for the French market.

A French court ruled earlier this year that Google had to pay a €300,000 fine because it carried advertisements for counterfeit goods on its sites.

"There is a continent which makes the fakes, which is China, and there is a continent where they are sold, and that is the internet," Jamet told Reuters.

Copyright © 2006, OUT-LAW.com

OUT-LAW.COM is part of international law firm Pinsent Masons.

Bridging the IT gap between rising business demands and ageing tools

More from The Register

next story
UK's emergency data slurp: IT giants panicked over 'legal uncertainty'
PM says rushed-through DRIP law will 'plug holes' in existing legislation
The final score: Gramophones 1 – Glassholes 0
My life according to a Google Arse
Doctor Who season eight scripts leak online
BBC asks fans to EXTERMINATE copies before they materialise
LG unfurls flexible SEE-THROUGH 18-inch display
Roll up, roll up for 60-inch telly scrolls by 2017
Report: UK.gov wants to legislate on comms data BEFORE next election
Ministerial alarm sets in over EU court's data retention ruling
IBM's $3bn bet on next-gen computers: Carbon nanotubes, neuro chips
Big Blue exec tells El Reg what to keep an eye on
Google Ventures opens new fund in London
El Reg has a new neighbour. So. Who's for a game of knock, knock, Ginger?
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
The Power of One Brief: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem
Download this brochure to find five ways HP BladeSystem can optimize your business with the power of one.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.