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JK Rowling badmouths eBay

Auction site 'humiliated' and 'harassed'

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The row continues between eBay and Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling.

As the world awaits the seventh and final Potter tome, the Indian Express reports that eBay has filed papers with the High Court in New Delhi, claiming that Rowling and her representatives are causing the company "immense humiliation and harassment." The two parties have long been at odds over the sale of pirated Potter e-books on eBay India, the auction site formerly known as Baazee.com.

In the fall of 2004, after spotting auction listings for unauthorized e-books, Rowling’s representatives filed a civil suit against eBay and four book sellers. eBay promptly removed the listings, but three years later, the court has yet to resolve the case.

With its recent court application, eBay claims the Rowling camp has misrepresented the case in continued conversations with the media. In essence, Rowling says that the court issued an injunction against eBay, but eBay says otherwise.

"J K Rowling and her representatives are spreading misinformation about two stay orders," reads the court application. "The distorted manner in which wide publicity is given in the media - print and electronic - has caused immense harassment and humiliation to eBay and also damaged its goodwill and reputation."

Update

On May 31, the High Court in New Delhi issued an order that side-stepped eBay's application. In the 15-page order, Judge A.K. Sikri acknowledged eBay's complaint, but said he would not rule on such matters until the case goes to trial.

"It is not necessary for me to deal with other arguments," he said, referring to eBay's complaint and other side-squabbles between the company and Rowling's representatives. "I refrain from making much comments on the other arguments as the matter will have to be finally gone into after the evidence is led by both the parties."

"He has denied the application by eBay simply by side-stepping it," says Todd Bonder, an IP lawyer with the international law firm Rosenfeld, Meyer, and Susman. Rowling's counsel did not respond to requests for comment.®

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