On eBay, It Isn't Always What It Says It Is
from the you-just-realized? dept
theodp writes "Selling knockoffs isn't just for Times Square anymore. The NY Times reports that smaller eBay buyers and sellers are grumbling about the abundance of counterfeit pieces, and Tiffany has filed a lawsuit accusing eBay of facilitating counterfeiting, finding that three out of four 'Tiffany' pieces they secretly purchased on eBay were fakes. The Tiffany case threatens eBay's very business model, since it would be nearly impossible to police a site with 180M members and 60M items for sale." The article is actually really one-sided. There's a serious legal question concerning whether or not eBay has legal responsibility -- and, so far, the law is pretty clear that they don't. They're just the service provider and shouldn't have responsibility. The responsibility should fall on the sellers who are falsely advertising products. The law is pretty clear on that. However, from a PR standpoint, it would make sense for eBay to come up with a better solution for policing their own sellers. Another thought is that this should open up more opportunities for others to provide certification services for certain products. Either way, the idea that this is eBay's fault is simply shifting the blame to the easier, but not accurate, target.