Feeds

French court fines eBay for sale of counterfeit handbags

Ordered to pay for sins of its users

New hybrid storage solutions

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. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Show us your Five-Eyes SECRETS says Privacy International
Refusal to disclose GCHQ canteen menus and prices triggers Euro Human Rights Court action
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Heavy VPN users are probably pirates, says BBC
And ISPs should nab 'em on our behalf
Former Bitcoin Foundation chair pleads guilty to money-laundering charge
Charlie Shrem plea deal could still get him five YEARS in chokey
NORKS ban Wi-Fi and satellite internet at embassies
Crackdown on tardy diplomatic sysadmins providing accidental unfiltered internet access
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.