Feeds

Lawyerless eBayer sues Autodesk over garage-sale miracle

Cad dowser shrink-wrapped in catch-22

High performance access to file storage

YouTubers have Christopher "Jedi" Knight. And eBayers have Tim "Happy Hour" Vernor.

In much the same way the light-sabred Jedi Knight stood up to the DMCA-waving lawyers at Viacom, defending the rights of YouTubers everywhere, Happy Hour Vernor is leading the charge for eBayers, intent on curbing the DMCA doings of software maker Autodesk.

The difference is that Vernor has actually filed a federal lawsuit against Autodesk, asking for $10m in damages.

And he doesn't have a lawyer.

Three years ago, Timothy Vernor quit his day job to enjoy life as a full-time eBay junkie. His online store, Happy Hour Comics, typically sells comics-related collectibles and vintage toys, but about 24 months back, he walked into a "garage sale" and stumbled onto a copy of AutoCAD, the professional design tool that Autodesk prices at roughly $4000 a pop - and he decided to sell that on eBay too.

Well, Autodesk got all huffy. The software maker chucked a DMCA claim at eBay, insisting that Vernor's AutoCAD auction was in violation of the U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). eBay promptly yanked the auction, but in an act of defiance rare among internet users, Vernor sent Whitman and company a counter-claim, insisting it put the auction back up. You know, he pulled a Chris Knight.

In doing so, Vernor risked legal action from Autodesk. The software maker had two weeks to either take Vernor to court or allow the auction back online. In this instance, the company backed down, but recently, when Vernor went to another "garage sale", found a few more copies of AutoCAD, and listed those onto eBay, the DMCA notices kept coming.

Vernor continued to counter-claim, but eventually, eBay put a hold on his account. "After four or five [DMCA] claims, they restricted my account, and I couldn't list any items for sale," Vernor said.

A month later, after an appeal to the online auction house, the account was restored. But Vernor is going ahead with that $10m lawsuit, which was officially served this week. In suspending his account, he claims, eBay cut off his sole source of revenue.

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

Next page: The Catch

More from The Register

next story
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Record labels sue Pandora over vintage song royalties
Companies want payout on recordings made before 1972
Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over protecting Snowden, customers
Judges rule complaints about government power are too little, too late
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
Edward Snowden on his Putin TV appearance: 'Why all the criticism?'
Denies Q&A cameo was meant to slam US, big-up Russia
Judge halts spread of zombie Nortel patents to Texas in Google trial
Epic Rockstar patent war to be waged in California
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
prev story

Whitepapers

SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.