Feeds

French court fines eBay for sale of counterfeit handbags

Ordered to pay for sins of its users

SANS - Survey on application security programs

A French court has ordered eBay to pay a hefty 20,000 euros to luxury goods designer Hermes for the online auction house's role in the sale of three counterfeit handbags.

Wednesday's ruling was the first time a French judge has found eBay directly responsible for a fraudulent sale by one of its customers. eBay has long agreed to remove listings found to be illegal, but it has steadfastly contended that the liability for those listings rests solely with the seller. A finding to the contrary, should it become widespread, could prove harmful to eBay's revenue model.

"By selling Hermes bags and branded accessories on the ebay.fr site, and by failing to act within their powers to prevent reprehensible use of the site [eBay and the lister] committed acts of counterfeiting and imitation of French brand names ... to the detriment of Hermes International," the ruling read, according to this article from AFP.

In a statement, eBay reiterated its stance against counterfeiting and said its Verified Rights Owner (VeRO) Program is designed to make it easy for intellectual property owners to report abuses. Wednesday's "court ruling relates to past issues of seller verification, the statement continued. "The court acknowledged that eBay has closed these loopholes referencing the anti-counterfeiting measures spearheaded by the VeRO scheme which brings rights owners and eBay together to tackle the menace of counterfeit goods."

eBay was ordered to pay the damages jointly with the woman who put the bags up for sale. eBay was also ordered to post the ruling on its French homepage for three months.

For a company founded on the principle that "people are basically good," eBay should takes a lot of flack for the misbehavior of its users. Louis Vuitton and Dior Couture have also pursued legal action in Paris commercial court, seeking 20 million euros and 17 million euros in damages respectively. They accuse eBay of complicity for listings of counterfeit items by allowing buyers and sellers to transact unfettered.

eBay also faces legal action from the auction industry and L'Oreal related to sales of counterfeited goods. ®

High performance access to file storage

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
Edward Snowden on his Putin TV appearance: 'Why all the criticism?'
Denies Q&A cameo was meant to slam US, big-up Russia
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
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
Judge halts spread of zombie Nortel patents to Texas in Google trial
Epic Rockstar patent war to be waged in California
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
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.
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.
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.