Teenager Pays Hundreds Of Dollars For A Picture Of An Xbox One

from the worth-a-thousand-words? dept

In prep for writing this short piece, I was surprised to learn that apparently eBay sellers sending pictures of items, rather than the items themselves, to buyers was something that existed. It's obviously a shady sense of humor that thinks bilking buyers out of their money this way is funny. I guess there are lots of ways it can happen, between ambiguously worded sell posts and incomplete reading by buyers. I imagine the latter is often fueled by a newly released item that is in high demand.

Such would seem to be the case with an English teenager who found out he'd paid hundreds of dollars for a picture of a new Xbox One, rather than for the console itself.

Peter Clatworthy thought he had bought one of the consoles on the auction site, but actually received a picture of one. The Post highlighted his story today, with Mr Clatworthy having now received a refund with the help of eBay.
Well, good on eBay for doing the refund, but this wasn't just a simple matter of a jackass seller sending the picture when he or she had promised the console. The actual seller listing did indeed promise a picture, not a console.
Despite the listing stating it was a photo of an XBox One Day One edition console, Mr Clatworthy said he’d expected to receive the console as it was listed in the video games and consoles category on eBay.

He instead received the photo in the post on Monday, with it having ‘thank you for your purchase’ written on the back.
I imagine somebody did the listing as a joke and then found out someone had purchased it after obviously not reading the listing carefully. That doesn't absolve the seller from completing the purchase process, obviously, but it does serve as a warning for all of us during this holiday shopping season. Read what you're buying, people.



Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Dec 9th, 2013 @ 4:16pm

    And, but, also...

    Not comparable, because the sellers are not attempting to engage in fraud, but lots of people have put their limited edition XBox One boxes (not the consoles, the boxes they came in) for sale on eBay. They can go for a couple of hundred bucks, mysteriously enough. The auctions are legit -- some people collect this stuff -- but easy to confuse with buying a console itself.

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 9th, 2013 @ 4:22pm

    Not a new scam

    I imagine somebody did the listing as a joke

    No. This is a fairly old scam. If you Google, you should be able to find stories about this one going back several years.

    IIRC, some of these have made it to court already. Judges have taken a rather dim view of the scammers.

     

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  3.  
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    Scote, Dec 9th, 2013 @ 4:27pm

    Re: Not a new scam

    Exactly what I was going to point out.

    The listing wasn't a joke, it was a deliberate scam written to be "plausibly" deniable. It was meant to trick people just as those fake invoice scam letters that have some obscurely worded fine print saying they aren't an invoice are scams.

    Don't blame the victim, even if they were naive, blame the scammer.

     

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  4.  
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    Zauber Paracelsus (profile), Dec 9th, 2013 @ 4:40pm

    I recall a few years ago that a case similar to this appeared on Judge Judy, involving either a PS3 or an XBox 360. Judge Judy has a low tolerance for nonsense, and she did not have any patience for the scammer, who was adamant that she had done nothing wrong.

     

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  5.  
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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Dec 9th, 2013 @ 4:49pm

    Re:

    The Judge Judy episode I saw was for a cell phone picture.
    The seller pointed out it clearly stated it was a picture of the phone and Judy was angry... but seriously if you don't read the damn post.

    I think offering pictures of things is shady, but buyers need to accept the responsibility for not reading.

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 9th, 2013 @ 4:53pm

    Re:

    Judge Judy has a low tolerance for nonsense

    Since when does Judge Judy's court handle prosecutions under 18 U.S.C. § 1343 (Wire) or 18 U.S.C. § 1341 (Mail) ?

    I know some U.S. Attorneys like to see themselves on TV, but —geez!— Judge Judy?

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 9th, 2013 @ 4:57pm

    Re: Re:

    I recall the case - what the advert SAID was that you were "bidding on exactly what you see", and it showed a promotional card of the phone. The question becomes what does the viewer SEE - a phone or a promotional card?

     

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  8.  
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    McCrea (profile), Dec 9th, 2013 @ 5:05pm

    Judge Judy?

    Holy dumbing down! This ain't Facebook!

     

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  9.  
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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Dec 9th, 2013 @ 5:13pm

    That's funny

    I was just explaining this to one of the commenters on Cracked recently. It was an article about dumb things on eBay and one of them was an XBox One box, just the box. Someone asked why anyone would spend hundreds of dollars on a box. I explained that it was a scam hoping to catch people who didn't read the entire posting.

    I also pointed out that the first time I heard about this was a day or two after the XBox 360 release where someone did the same exact thing. In fact, I think I read about it on Techdirt. I may be mistaken, that was a while ago.

     

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  10. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
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    out_of_the_blue, Dec 9th, 2013 @ 5:17pm

    I was promised some "writing" here, but it's only re-writing.

    Same thing as photograph compared to Xbox, really. Why not just LINK to stories rather than pretend you're writing, Timmy? You not only add nothing to the facts, you actually subtract from the little known with silly musing: "I imagine somebody did the listing as a joke" -- Yeah, ha, ha. Ebay should have its lawyers go after the "joker" and see how a suit for fraud amuses.

    Techdirt. Dumpster-diving to recycle "news".

    13:16:44[o-257-8]

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 9th, 2013 @ 5:20pm

    Re: Re:

    I believe Judge Judy is not an actual court of law, but rather "binding arbitration". The people involved have to waive their right to trial, and agree to the arbitration. In that regard she can hear just about any civil case I think.

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 9th, 2013 @ 5:22pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    … she can hear just about any civil case…

    I guess “Title 18” doesn't ring a bell for you?

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 9th, 2013 @ 5:23pm

    Re: I was promised some "writing" here, but it's only re-writing.

    What did you add?

     

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  14.  
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    Bob, Dec 9th, 2013 @ 5:29pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Isn't title 18 for criminal proceedings? What does that have to do with civil cases?

     

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  15.  
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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Dec 9th, 2013 @ 5:36pm

    Re: Re: I was promised some "writing" here, but it's only re-writing.

    He adds a lot.

    1) A few extra bits of hard drive usage.
    2) A reason that the report button exists.
    3) The primary reason I don't think too highly of the human race as a whole.
    4) The best argument against copyright extremists.

     

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  16.  
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    JD Fensty, Dec 9th, 2013 @ 6:13pm

    I recall this at least as far back as PS2...

    I definitely remember being at work on the day the Playstation 2 came out and seeing lots of eBay ads for the box.

    They are 'scams' but there is really a lot to be said for the fact that the people buying are not the least bit attentive to what they're buying.

    I think it's wrong, and yes, the seller should not get away with it, but it's still an important commentary on actually READING and not just assuming.

    The ads I saw were not taking any chances, they had lots of SHOUTING and repeatedly explained you were buying an empty box. Maybe that stopped working and they've had to get sneakier and farther away from the truth, dunno.

    JD

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 9th, 2013 @ 6:19pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    It was fraud pure and simple.

    Now a separate civil case may be entered into by the defrauded party to recover damages but the state may also and should try the bastards for fraud as well. One would hope they used the US mail as well so they can be tried for mail fraud.

     

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  18.  
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    btrussell (profile), Dec 9th, 2013 @ 7:02pm

    The guy did him a favor. No dick or peter in the magic box.

     

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  19.  
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    btrussell (profile), Dec 9th, 2013 @ 7:29pm

    Those snowflakes are faillin' on my web, they keep faillin'

    Funny thing, someone "jokes" about blowing up an airport or school and police and everyone involved should have read/listened better and seen the context to realize it is a joke, some dickfor can't read and the guy who played the joke should be prosecuted?

    We can't protect every fool the way we do with the children.

    Live and learn. Accept responsibility for your own choices.

    Fucking snowflakes.

    *Title borrowed from Butch and Sundance, all rights severed.

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 9th, 2013 @ 7:43pm

    Re: Re: Not a new scam

    It's not a scam. You might want to check your legal definitions before you go around slandering people.

    The seller was honest and upfront about everything. You might also want to consider that people buy and sell pictures of stuff all the time, it's called art.

    On top of that, the 'victim' even admitted they noticed it said "picture" in the title and they stupidly assumed it was an original xbox. I wish I was kidding, but no, the 'victim' saw the word "PICTURE" and thought it meant "Real, actual xbox one" and threw over 500 bucks at it without asking further questions.

    All around it sounds like this 'victim' needed that lesson. Especially if you consider he has a young child and that level of stupidity can't be tolerated from a parent.

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 9th, 2013 @ 7:45pm

    Re: Re:

    BRB gonna sue the guy who sold me that picture of a fruit basked I framed and hung on my wall. He said it was art, I'm happy to learn it was a scam and I'm entitled to a real fruit basked.

    Seriously people??

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 9th, 2013 @ 9:00pm

    Cheapskates

    Back in my day they'd at least sell you the empty box, but now only an image.

     

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  23.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 9th, 2013 @ 9:15pm

    Re: Not a new scam

    No. This is a fairly old scam. If you Google, you should be able to find stories about this one going back several years.

    Note that Tim's first link is about another story about this same kind of thing going back to a Techdirt post from over 10 years...

     

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  24.  
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    Atkray (profile), Dec 9th, 2013 @ 9:59pm

    Re:# 3

    I'm not sure you should conflate ootb with any part of the human race.

     

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  25.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 9th, 2013 @ 10:16pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Shady maybe, but I would pause to call it fraud.
    If you state everything correctly and make no effort to hide anything how is that fraud?

    Is there some form of higher education needed to understand "I am selling a photo of the product for x dollars"?

    Besides there are true forms of fraud that occur and nobody says nothing, like "subsidized phones" that are often market as "free" or "free courses" where you have to buy the "educational material" to be able to get the "free" part of it.

     

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  26.  
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    theangryetailer (profile), Dec 9th, 2013 @ 10:58pm

    Taking Advantage of the Stupid is NOT a Crime, It's the American Way

    This sort of thing is not new. It is not a scam. It is merely blatant American Capitalism. Taking advantage of the stupid.

    How do you think Facebook grew to be multi-billion dollar company? It wasn't because the upper slice of the bell curve needed an outlet to share pictures of their supper.

    While it may seem like a cruel trick to many, to those who sell online, customers who do no read descriptions is a real problem. Constantly people are buying stuff and then requesting refunds and filing chargebacks because they did not even look at pictures or read descriptions or item details.

    "oh, I thought this CD was a DVD, I want to return it."

    "You sent me a VHS tape, I don't have a VCR, do you have it in DVD?"

    "I paid $300 for a crate for a 1912 Tiffany lamp, but I thought I was getting a $350,000 Tiffany lamp, I'm angry!"

    When a seller obviously tried to defraud buyers, that should be a crime. When a seller explicitly details what they are selling and the buyer purchases the item that is pictured and described, then it should be a crime for that buyer to file a chargeback when they state that the item was "not as described" or "defective" or whatever term the credit card companies use.

     

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  27.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 10th, 2013 @ 12:05am

    Re: Taking Advantage of the Stupid is NOT a Crime, It's the American Way

     

    Uniform Commercial Code § 1-304. Obligation of Good Faith.
    Every contract or duty within [the Uniform Commercial Code] imposes an obligation of good faith in its performance and enforcement.


     

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 10th, 2013 @ 12:20am

    Re: Taking Advantage of the Stupid is NOT a Crime, It's the American Way

    From the Law.com Legal Dictionary—

    implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing
    n. a general assumption of the law of contracts, that people will act in good faith and deal fairly without breaking their word, using shifty means to avoid obligations or denying what the other party obviously understood.…


     

     

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  29.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 10th, 2013 @ 12:53am

    Re: Taking Advantage of the Stupid is NOT a Crime, It's the American Way

     

    Intent to defraud means an intention to deceive another person, and to induce such other person, in reliance upon such deception, to assume, create, transfer, alter, or terminate a right, obligation, or power with reference to property.

     

     

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  30.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 10th, 2013 @ 1:31am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    If you state everything correctly and make no effort to hide anything how is that fraud?

    According to the article, “Mr Clatworthy said he’d expected to receive the console as it was listed in the video games and consoles category on eBay.” The seller chooses the category under which the item is listed.


    From eBay Help: Creating effective listings: Selecting a category:
    Selecting a category when you create your listing

    To select your category:
    1. Click Sell at the top of the page.

    2. Select a category using either the search box, the Browse categories link, or Recently used categories link.

    3. Select a category that best describes your item.

    4. If you don't find a category you like in the list of categories, refine your search. Try using additional or more descriptive keywords.

    5. Optional: Select a second category using the suggested categories. After you select a recently used category, you might find that the options available for your second category have changed. This happens because you can't list in the same category twice. Learn more about listing in two categories.

    6. After you've selected your category, click the Continue button to continue listing your item.


    When the seller intentionally selects a deceptive eBay category for his listing, knowing that the buyer will rely on that eBay category and be deceived by it, then I think the seller intentionally has made a material misrepresentation regarding the goods.

     

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  31.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 10th, 2013 @ 1:36am

    Re: Re: Taking Advantage of the Stupid is NOT a Crime, It's the American Way

    Is not good faith enough to describe exactly what you are selling correctly?

     

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  32.  
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    McGreed (profile), Dec 10th, 2013 @ 1:53am

    Re: Re: Re: Not a new scam

    Bullshit, its a scam. That's how the scam works, write a description with details that can be misunderstood, and make use of the hype of the product, to scam someone to buy their fake product.
    A very simple telltale is the price, you cannot defend the price of 500$ for a picture of a Xbox One. It's not anything unique or rare enough for that price. That price is there to give credibility to the scam.

    Don't be a tool, and stop defending that trash.

     

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  33.  
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    Fianna MacGregor, Dec 10th, 2013 @ 3:30am

    It wasn't a joke

    Unfortunately, this is not a joke. In fact there was a television expose about a guy who made a living doing it about a year ago. He now in jail. He was selling pictures of auto parts.

     

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  34.  
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    ethorad (profile), Dec 10th, 2013 @ 3:42am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Not everything in "Video Games and Consoles" category is a video game or a console.

    I've just had a quick look and I can see controllers, hard drives and vouchers for money off a console. So can I buy a controller from that category and then complain when I don't get a full console system? No. Because that would be dumb.

    Same goes for many other categories - In the Vehicles-Boats section, I can see engines for sale.

    The category is not a complete description of what you're selling - the post title and commentary does that. And indeed in this case it did, through the use of the word "photo".

     

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  35.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 10th, 2013 @ 4:31am

    Re: Re:# 3

    Yeah, out_of_the_ass is the bit of the human race that got left behind on the starting line, and remained on the racecourse rolling on his bum and twiddling his thumbs.

     

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  36.  
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    quawonk, Dec 10th, 2013 @ 4:38am

    Re: Re: Re: Not a new scam

    If the seller wants to make it clear it's a photo, first put it under the photographs section, write "photo of" right in the title of the post in big bold letters, etc. but he didn't do that because he's a scamming piece of shit, plain and simple. The post was created specifically to cash in on hype and rip someone off and so the scumbag can say "well you should have read it carefully". Honest people don't make it so you have to 'read carefully'.

    And people like you should be ashamed of yourselves for making excuses for them and blaming the victim.

     

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  37.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 10th, 2013 @ 4:56am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The category is not a complete description of what you're selling

    There is no reasonable doubt that this seller (1) intentionally set out on a course calculated to deceive the buyer, and (2) did in fact deceive the buyer, thus (3a) causing damage to the buyer, and (3b) and gaining something of value.

    In furtherance of this seller's scheme to mislead the buyer, the seller wilfully characterized the goods in the “video games and consoles category”. The seller knew that the item listed was not a video game or console. It was an intentional falsehood, calculated to deceive.

    There is no reasonable doubt.

     

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  38.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 10th, 2013 @ 5:03am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Not a new scam

    The trash there followed all the rules by the letter, to make it criminal the law would have to be more restrictive, meaning any slip by anyone honest or otherwise would mean criminal prosecution.

    eBay is used by honest normal people too, that may from time to time make mistakes and with rigid criminal rules they may end up on the wrong end of the law for minor infractions that could be handled by other means.

    eBay just proved that they can and have the power to change things, there are also escrow mechanisms that could be implemented and the use of badges for things like "return guaranteed no questions asked" or any other assurances that sellers can give to increase their reputations.

    You think only people who buy stuff are idiots?

     

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  39.  
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    Pragmatic, Dec 10th, 2013 @ 5:16am

    Re: Re: Re:

    If it was filed under "pictures" you've got no case. If, however, it was filed under "groceries" or "fruit," you do because it's been misfiled in an attempt to mislead.

     

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  40.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 10th, 2013 @ 5:47am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Anyone who thinks that they can get away with crap like this needs to see a few of these buffoons going to jail for this.

     

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  41.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 10th, 2013 @ 6:29am

    Re: Re: Not a new scam

    Who has time for links?!? Silly Chubby Masnick....

     

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  42.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 10th, 2013 @ 7:31am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    There's no reasonable doubt that the seller intentionally set out to deceive the buyer, however there IS reasonable doubt the seller defrauded the buyer. The description was accurate, the buyer failed to read the full item listing before purchasing it in a legally binding fashion.

    Taking money from stupid people is not, as it turns out, illegal. See also: homeopathy, psychic readings, astrology, celebrity gossip magazines.

     

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  43.  
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    Kcits, Dec 10th, 2013 @ 7:41am

    There is no reasonable doubt that this seller (1) intentionally set out on a course calculated to deceive the buyer,

    Yes there is reasonable doubt. The description clearly said it was a photo. How can you say it was a scam if the description said it was a photo?
    Had the buyer read the complete listing, as anyone who had half a brain cell would, be would not have paid for it if he didnt want a photo.
    You are relying on the actions of others who tried to do something similar but did not describe what they were selling in clear terms. That would be fraud. That isnt the case here, it clearly said it was a photo.
    This is a case of a buyer making a mistake and buying something other than what they wanted. The excuse they came up with is just that, an excuse.
    That it was in the wrong category is another excuse. The category of game console contains everything concerning game consoles including photos, boxes, controllers, handhelds, games, etc... That something for sale could be listed in multiple categories and is only listed in one is not deceptive.

     

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  44.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 10th, 2013 @ 7:42am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Where would one go to find a picture of a video game console?

    Those categories are there to help filter your search, nothing more. They are not binding the product for sale to the description of the category.

     

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  45.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 10th, 2013 @ 7:46am

    Re: Re: Taking Advantage of the Stupid is NOT a Crime, It's the American Way

    None of those descriptions have anything to do with this article... the seller explicitly stated that it was a photo. where is the bad faith?

     

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  46.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 10th, 2013 @ 7:48am

    If all dealings are supposed to be in 'good faith', then why does EVERY SINGLE commercial have the fast talking legal statement at the end?

     

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  47.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 10th, 2013 @ 7:56am

    Re: Re: Taking Advantage of the Stupid is NOT a Crime, It's the American Way

    The seller offered a picture of an Xbox One in good faith, explicitly pointing out that the auction was for a picture only.

    The buyer was supposed to be entering into a legal contract to purchase the picture, also in good faith. Once the transaction was completed, the buyer started huffing and puffing (despite this situation entirely being due to their own negligence) and broke the contract.

    Someone did not fulfill the obligation of good faith here, but it is not the seller.

     

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  48.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 10th, 2013 @ 8:09am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Not a new scam

    That's obviously why "honest companies" don't have 30 page EULA's that users have to agree to before being able to even see the product they purchased...

    AMIRITE? I mean companies are sooo honest.....

     

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  49.  
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    Tom (profile), Dec 10th, 2013 @ 8:45am

    Re: Taking Advantage of the Stupid is NOT a Crime, It's the American Way

    How do you think Facebook grew to be multi-billion dollar company? It wasn't because the upper slice of the bell curve needed an outlet to share pictures of their supper.


    You, sir, win the Internet today.

    Almost as good, though, is the new listing for a picture of the guy who bought a picture of an Xbox One. [listing]

     

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  50.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 10th, 2013 @ 9:20am

    If a buyer doesn't bother to read what he's buying or irrationally assumes that "picture of console" is code for "actual console," that's entirely his own fault.

    But corporations thrive on people buying things carelessly, so of course they took the buyer's side.

     

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  51.  
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    Kcits, Dec 10th, 2013 @ 9:33am

    Re:

    Ebay will bend over backwards for buyers at the expense of sellers. Its been that way for awhile now. All you have to do to get a refund is file a case with some half baked excuse and 95% of the time you will win. Sellers lose all the time unless they spell out terms in great detail. Thats why you see half a page of terms on most experienced sellers.

     

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  52.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 10th, 2013 @ 10:52am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Besides there are true forms of fraud that occur and nobody says nothing, like "subsidized phones" that are often market as "free" or "free courses" where you have to buy the "educational material" to be able to get the "free" part of it."

    That's not fraud! That's marketing!

     

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  53.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 10th, 2013 @ 10:58am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "There is no reasonable doubt."

    There is no reasonable doubt that it wasn't fraud. If the seller "intentionally set out on a course calculated to deceive the buyer" then he wouldn't have told the truth in the listing, which he did. You can stomp your feet and say otherwise all day long, but that doesn't make it so.

     

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  54.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Dec 10th, 2013 @ 12:45pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I would pause to call it fraud


    I wouldn't. There's an obvious intent to defraud there. It's fraud, plain and simple, of the same type as the examples you list as "true forms" of fraud. I don't believe that a scam artist has to overtly lie to commit fraud, and your examples of true fraud also don't involve actually saying anything untrue.

     

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  55.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Dec 10th, 2013 @ 12:49pm

    Re: Taking Advantage of the Stupid is NOT a Crime, It's the American Way

    It is merely blatant American Capitalism. Taking advantage of the stupid.


    Also known as scamming or committing fraud.

     

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  56.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Dec 10th, 2013 @ 12:51pm

    Re:

    Yes there is reasonable doubt


    We must disagree on the definition of "reasonable", "doubt", or both. Because it couldn't be more obvious that the seller was attempting to defraud people who don't read carefully.

    Why are you trying so hard to argue that these scumbags have the moral high ground?

     

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  57.  
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    AB (profile), Dec 10th, 2013 @ 12:59pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    This is a grey area. Generally, the advertising industry has a fine line that they try not to step too far over. That line is encouraged by government regulations. But just because a marketing company can sometimes get away with acts of 'misdirection' doesn't mean the general public is given the same leeway. Individuals who commit the same acts of 'misdirection' will be punished much more severely.

    In other words, it's only marketing when a company does it.

     

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  58.  
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    AB (profile), Dec 10th, 2013 @ 1:34pm

    Re: Those snowflakes are faillin' on my web, they keep faillin'

    Did the person making the 'joke' collect remuneration on their 'joke' extortion letter?

    If this was a joke the money would have been sent back. If this was an accident the description would have _started_ with "This is a photograph" or somethimg similar, like all other photographs and pictures being sold. If this was intentionally misleading then it would read and play out exactly as it did.

    Please note that I am not defending the total idiot who actually managed to read the part saying it was only a picture and _still_ sent the money. I am simply stating my own perceptions concerning motives, because I can't believe people would actually defend the right of anyone to prey on other people. Are we truly no better than common animals?

     

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  59.  
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    quawonk, Dec 10th, 2013 @ 1:47pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Not a new scam

    They know they've purchased a piece of software, not just a photo of one.

    Try again.

     

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  60.  
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    Kcits, Dec 10th, 2013 @ 2:35pm

    Re: Re:

    We must disagree on the definition of "reasonable", "doubt", or both. Because it couldn't be more obvious that the seller was attempting to defraud people who don't read carefully.
    Why are you trying so hard to argue that these scumbags have the moral high ground?

    Exactly how was it fraud? What deceptive or fraudulent thing was done to make it so? There has to be a reason to call it fraud.
    Why are you so quick to label someone a scumbag? Were you defrauded by someone in the past and now see a scammer behind every tree?

     

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  61.  
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    nasch (profile), Dec 10th, 2013 @ 2:53pm

    Re: Re:

    Why are you trying so hard to argue that these scumbags have the moral high ground?

    Makes me wonder how many of these people are eBay scammers.

     

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  62.  
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    John85851 (profile), Dec 10th, 2013 @ 2:53pm

    The buyer should have some responsibility

    A few things to consider:

    1) If the buyer has ANY doubt at all, especially when paying $500 for a box or picture or whatever, why didn't he contact the seller first?
    Like the example posted by theangryetailer: is it really fraud if a person list a videotape for sale, the customer orders it, and then complains he wanted a DVD? Why didn't the customer ask if the seller had a DVD before ordering?

    So, yes, I think buyers need to take on some responsibility, again, especially when they're paying $500 for something.

    2) In my years on the Internet, I've found the PayPal is quick to offer a refund to a customer, especially when that customer calls his credit card company and says the PayPal transaction is fraud. At that point, the credit card company takes the money from PayPal, so PayPal has to take the money from the seller.
    There's no discussion about how the seller was selling something correcting, nor is there any appeal: PayPal lost their money, so the seller will lose the money also.

    And, yes, this is how buyers can scam sellers.

    Some people are claiming that this is a scam because this seller intentionally put the item in the wrong category to confuse people. In my opinion, the seller put the photo in the Video Game section because he was selling to that market. How many people would have seen it in the Photo section?
    For example, if you're selling a comic book from the 1940's, do you put it in Comic Books, Collectibles, or Rare Items? (Sorry, I don't know the exact category names.) You choose the category where you think will get the best results.

     

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  63.  
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    nasch (profile), Dec 10th, 2013 @ 3:44pm

    Re: The buyer should have some responsibility


    Some people are claiming that this is a scam because this seller intentionally put the item in the wrong category to confuse people. In my opinion, the seller put the photo in the Video Game section because he was selling to that market.


    He was selling to the market of photos of a video game console for, coincidentally, the same price as the console itself? Please - nobody wants a photo of an XBox One, and really nobody wants one for $500. He was hoping to rip someone off, and almost succeeded.

     

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  64.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 11th, 2013 @ 12:23am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    No there is a clear intent to sell a picture at inflated prices to idiots in a hurry, that is not a crime, it may be moraly dubious but not a crime at all.

    You give out all the right information and idiots still are capable of getting duped? why are you defending idiots?

     

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  65.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 11th, 2013 @ 12:39am

    Re: Re: The buyer should have some responsibility

    You may not like it, but anybody can sell anything for any price they chose, there are suckers for everything as this incident just proves.

    Not that I like what happened, in fact it disgust me, but the trash there at least followed all the rules to the letter and still was able to find an idiot. How can someone read "Selling Xbox picture for x bucks" and still believe that the person on the other end will send him something else than a picture?

    Further there are other ways to deal with these things that doesn't involve making it a criminal matter(i.e. escrow practices, platform reputation, etc)

    Sad as it may be to be made a fool, the other option that many here think should apply is worse, then I fear that someone grandmother one day will try to sell anything on eBay and get caught in the law web too, there are idiots everywhere and they are not only buyers but sellers too.

    The guy got his money back, the scum got nothing this should be enough, do not try to make it criminal, that shit endures for ages and will be difficult to change back once it is in place, people are only looking at one point and forgetting to look at the whole, the thinking that this should be criminal is wrong, it would bring more bad than good and we have several examples already of good intentions leading to hellish outcomes.

     

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  66.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 11th, 2013 @ 12:42am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Would you like to go to jail for having posted something you want to sell in the wrong category?

    Would you like to see your relatives get in trouble because they failed to know all the special cases of the law?

    Then go ahead and make this a criminal issue and see where it will lead to.

     

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  67.  
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    btrussell (profile), Dec 11th, 2013 @ 2:43am

    Re: Re: Those snowflakes are faillin' on my web, they keep faillin'

    I'm sure we have all seen at least one joke carried on past its' original intentions.

     

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  68.  
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    btrussell (profile), Dec 11th, 2013 @ 2:45am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Not a new scam

    They think they purchased software. Once you read the EULA it becomes clear you are only renting.

     

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  69.  
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    btrussell (profile), Dec 11th, 2013 @ 2:46am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Not a new scam

    Own it on DVD today!

     

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  70.  
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    btrussell (profile), Dec 11th, 2013 @ 2:50am

    Re: Re:

    Own it on DVD today.

    When that is held up as fraud, let me know please.

     

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  71.  
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    btrussell (profile), Dec 11th, 2013 @ 3:16am

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20120819/22181320092/should-making-threat-facebook-be-crime.shtml#c 357

    Is everyone being consistent?

    P.S. I've known for over 25 years that you cannot just go around threatening people here in Canada. No joke.

     

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  72.  
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    Amish Schulze, Dec 11th, 2013 @ 5:32am

    This has been going on for years, usually with boxes

    When the xbox 360 came out, there was a flood of auctions for the Xbox 360 box. They would be listed for the same price as a real xbox and in the same category.

     

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  73.  
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    nasch (profile), Dec 11th, 2013 @ 7:30am

    Re: Re: Re: The buyer should have some responsibility

    How can someone read "Selling Xbox picture for x bucks" and still believe that the person on the other end will send him something else than a picture?

    Nobody is saying the kid wasn't being stupid.

    The guy got his money back, the scum got nothing this should be enough, do not try to make it criminal, that shit endures for ages and will be difficult to change back once it is in place

    I also don't see anybody arguing to change any laws to address this, which I think is what you're referring to. The argument I'm seeing is that this was fraudulent based on the laws that exist today.

     

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  74.  
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    nasch (profile), Dec 11th, 2013 @ 7:34am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Would you like to go to jail for having posted something you want to sell in the wrong category?

    In my opinion that is a gross mischaracterization of what happened here, besides which even if there were a criminal charge brought (there wasn't), and even if he were convicted, he wouldn't necessarily serve jail time. If a relative of mine engaged in fraud I wouldn't mind if he/she got caught and punished.

    Then go ahead and make this a criminal issue and see where it will lead to.

    Just to be clear, I'm not advocating to change any laws. Are you?

     

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  75.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 11th, 2013 @ 8:10am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Not a new scam

    There is a good clip somewhere on YouTube of Judge Judy ripping a person a new one when they sold a picture of a cell phone through an online auction site. If you are into that sort of drama. In the end, the scammer lost due to the fact they listed the weight of the phone in the ad which of course was not the weight of the photo.

     

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  76.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 11th, 2013 @ 8:12am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: The buyer should have some responsibility

    The argument I'm seeing is that this was fraudulent based on the laws that exist today.


    Whoever, having devised or intending to devise any scheme or artifice to defraud, or for obtaining money or property by means of false or fraudulent pretenses, representations, or promises, transmits or causes to be transmitted by means of wire, radio, or television communication in interstate or foreign commerce, any writings, signs, signals, pictures, or sounds for the purpose of executing such scheme or artifice, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both.…

     

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  77.  
    icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), Dec 11th, 2013 @ 6:06pm

    Sometimes stupid is rewarded. Because Christmas.

    Apparently no one else here happened upon the wacky ending to this story.

    It's wacky.


    As of this posting I have not received a US National Security Letter or any classified gag order from an agent of the United States
    Encrypted with Morbius-Cochrane Perfect Steganographic Codec 1.2.001
    Wednesday, December 11, 2013 6:04:40 PM
    parish lighthouse mushroom toes clown boxing weather spit

     

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  78.  
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    btrussell (profile), Dec 12th, 2013 @ 1:07am

    The buyer made an assumption.

    Do you know what happens when you assume things?

    Come on people, are we going to prosecute people with fraud for selling their artwork for multiple times the value YOU would pay for it?

     

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  79.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 12th, 2013 @ 5:08am

    Re:

    The buyer made an assumption.
    The buyer presumed that he was dealing with an honest seller.

    It was a reasonable presumption. Most people aren't scam artists.

     

    Do you know what happens when you assume things?
    When a society cannot rely on a basic presumption of good faith and fair dealing in commerce, then that society starts breaking down. People begin to have serious worries about conducting business —they pause— and the economy becomes impoverished. The society becomes poorer.

    That's what happens when you assume that every commercial transaction is a rip-off.

     

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  80.  
    identicon
    Kcits, Dec 12th, 2013 @ 5:35am

    Re: Re:

    The buyer presumed that he was dealing with an honest seller.
    It was a reasonable presumption. Most people aren't scam artists.


    Please list and explain specifically what dishonest thing was done during the sale. Please explain in exact detail how this was a scam when the auction clearly said the sale was for a photo.

     

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  81.  
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    btrussell (profile), Dec 12th, 2013 @ 5:46am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Ditto

     

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  82.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 12th, 2013 @ 6:34am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Please list and explain specifically what dishonest thing was done during the sale.

    Please see my previous comments here.

    I have already identified for you with the requisite particularity the false statement which the seller wilfully made. The seller intentionally stated that the goods were a “video game or console”. The seller made this statement when he listed the item on eBay. The seller knew that this was a false statment. The seller intended that the buyer would be deceived by this falsehood.

    Please see my previous comments for my further reasoning.

    If you think there's some element of the offense of wire fraud (18 U.S.C. § 1343) that's not receiving due consideration here, then bring that element up. Try to tell a story that the jury's going to buy. Right now, I personally have no reasonable doubt.

     

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  83.  
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    ethorad (profile), Dec 12th, 2013 @ 10:00am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You say "the seller wilfully characterized the goods in the “video games and consoles category”. The seller knew that the item listed was not a video game or console"

    How do you respond to all the other items in the video games and consoles category that aren't games or consoles - eg hard drives etc. Are they also scamming people?

    Same goes for every category on eBay.

     

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  84.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Dec 12th, 2013 @ 10:02am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I'm not defending idiots. I'm calling out scam artists who prey on idiots. Why are you defending scammers?

     

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  85.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Dec 12th, 2013 @ 10:07am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Simply saying in the description that it's a photo doesn't mean it's not a scam. Tons of scams disclose that they're scams in an attempt to shield themselves from the legal ramifications of their fraud.

    I call this a scam because the obvious intent is to get people to pay for what they think is the real article and not a picture. That only idiots or careless readers would fall for it isn't relevant at all.

    If this were an honest auction, the seller would have indicated that the auction was for a picture with a BIG WARNING, specifically to keep people from buying a picture when they wanted the actual item.

    That the seller didn't do this makes them a scumbag who preys on other people.

     

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  86.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Dec 12th, 2013 @ 10:14am

    Another reason to avoid eBay

    Man, all of these arguments defending the seller here only adds another point to my list of reasons to completely avoid eBay. There is clearly a lot of people who aren't bothered one bit by dubious auctions like this on eBay, which means that there must be a lot of sellers there for who "good faith" simply means "whatever I can get away with."

     

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  87.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 12th, 2013 @ 10:29am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    How do you respond to all the other items in the video games and consoles category that aren't games or consoles - eg hard drives etc. Are they also scamming people?

    Lack of intent to deceive for most of those goods. The intent to deceive is the critical element here.

    Do you need a pattern instruction on circumstantial evidence? The jury may consider both direct and circumstantial evidence. Intent is generally inferred from circumstances.

     

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  88.  
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    nasch (profile), Dec 12th, 2013 @ 10:48am

    Re: Another reason to avoid eBay

    there must be a lot of sellers there for who "good faith" simply means "whatever I can get away with."

    Well put.

     

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  89.  
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    nasch (profile), Dec 12th, 2013 @ 10:48am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    If this were an honest auction, the seller would have indicated that the auction was for a picture with a BIG WARNING, specifically to keep people from buying a picture when they wanted the actual item.

    And wouldn't have charged 450 pounds for it.

     

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  90.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 12th, 2013 @ 11:24am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    And wouldn't have charged 450 pounds for it.

    Oh, a professional photographer might charge 450 pounds for a photo of an everyday item. Say perhaps if it was going to be used for an advertising photo. But then a professional photographer doesn't just auction off his photos on eBay under the category of “video games and consoles”.

    You see, in this case, I have indeed carefully considered whether the “professional photographer” story has even a snowball's chance in hell in front of any reasonable jury. I just don't think that story flies. Maybe someone else wants to try telling a jury that whopper.

     

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  91.  
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    btrussell (profile), Dec 12th, 2013 @ 3:20pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "I call this a scam because the obvious intent is to get people to pay for what they think is the real article..."

    All magicians are committing fraud. Their intent is to deceive and reduce the funds in your wallet.

     

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  92.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Dec 13th, 2013 @ 7:19am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    No fraud there. A magician is giving you exactly what you ordered and expected.

     

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  93.  
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    btrussell (profile), Dec 14th, 2013 @ 5:41am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Would you like to buy a picture of my laptop for $400? If not, do you mind if I ask someone else?

     

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  94.  
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    btrussell (profile), Dec 14th, 2013 @ 2:43pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Apparently people will defend my right to say something (free speech), regardless of whether they like it or how I say it, until a "27 year old kid" makes an assumption and the cost is a maximum of $500. Free speech then no longer exists. For $500 or less. Keep signing petitions and asking people like the guy who was just banned from ebay for speech for his help.

     

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  95.  
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    btrussell (profile), Dec 15th, 2013 @ 3:59am

    Re: Re: Another reason to avoid eBay

    Never mind ebay, here alone I wonder how many are scammers, leading us to believe they stand up for free speech and other rights...That is, until, someone assumes I said something I didn't, then I have no free speech rights.

    I wonder if ebay is going to ban everyone who has a listing where it doesn't belong?

    Teachers take note, we have an opportunity to hone students ability to pay attention to detail here. You can make a game of students searching out e-bay listings in wrong category and also ones worded with intent to scam users. Whoever gets the most people banned for life from e-bay wins! No fear of trampling others' rights as we need to get the students used to having their rights being trampled anyway.

     

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  96.  
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    btrussell (profile), Dec 15th, 2013 @ 4:02am

    Re: Re: Re: Another reason to avoid eBay

    I hate touchpads. No editing for you!

     

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  97.  
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    nasch (profile), Dec 15th, 2013 @ 6:31am

    Re: Re: Re: Another reason to avoid eBay

    That is, until, someone assumes I said something I didn't, then I have no free speech rights...No fear of trampling others' rights as we need to get the students used to having their rights being trampled anyway.

    A company can do whatever they want with their own platform, including abridging any kind of speech they choose. You have no right to use eBay, you use it at their discretion.

     

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  98.  
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    btrussell (profile), Dec 15th, 2013 @ 12:18pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Another reason to avoid eBay

    So your saying you have no rights once you pass through a corporations doors or start using their services, they can decide to start exterminating people if they want to?

     

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  99.  
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    nasch (profile), Dec 15th, 2013 @ 5:11pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Another reason to avoid eBay

    So your saying you have no rights once you pass through a corporations doors or start using their services, they can decide to start exterminating people if they want to?

    No, I'm saying this: "You have no right to use eBay, you use it at their discretion."

     

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  100.  
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    btrussell (profile), Dec 16th, 2013 @ 3:30am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Another reason to avoid eBay

    You might want to remind people about this when they complain about a video being pulled from youtube. Youtube determines fair use of their services.

     

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  101.  
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    btrussell (profile), Dec 16th, 2013 @ 4:16am

    Re: Re: Those snowflakes are faillin' on my web, they keep faillin'

    I'm defending free speech. I may not like it, but I will defend his right to say it before I allow you to tell me what I can or can't sell one of my pictures for. I practice what I preach!

    I am under the impression that arsonists' get their rocks off watching firefighters fight the fire they lit. Maybe the jokester mentioned above got similar remuneration?

     

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  102.  
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    btrussell (profile), Dec 16th, 2013 @ 4:30am

    Re: Re: Re: Another reason to avoid eBay

    Teachers!
    There's an app for that!

    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.enceladus.eaby

    Let the game of "yabE dabE do Hammer" begin!

     

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  103.  
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    nasch (profile), Dec 16th, 2013 @ 7:33am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Another reason to avoid eBay

    You might want to remind people about this when they complain about a video being pulled from youtube. Youtube determines fair use of their services.

    Quite right, YouTube can take down any video they want to.

     

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  104.  
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    Anonymous Cow, Dec 16th, 2013 @ 10:11am

    Re: Re: Re: Another reason to avoid eBay

    Assuming you're referring to the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, free speech assures your ability to speak freely without government persecution due to your beliefs. Private entities are well within their rights to enforce their own policies and limitations within the extent of the law (which prevents them from "exterminating people") and to refuse service based on their own criteria.

    If the government were arresting someone for, say, legally criticizing a particular government policy, you'd have a point about peoples' rights. If eBay pulls a listing or YouTube removes a video, nobody's rights are being trampled. Free speech doesn't extend to private property.

     

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  105.  
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    btrussell (profile), Dec 16th, 2013 @ 9:17pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Another reason to avoid eBay

    Did ebay do this on their own or after people like you started saying they didn't like someones speech? The people have spoken. They don't believe in free speech. How can you hold your government, who represents the people, to this?

    Surely you have heard the governments arguments that you don't want privacy or you wouldn't post on facebook? Or something similarly silly.

     

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  106.  
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    btrussell (profile), Dec 16th, 2013 @ 9:26pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Another reason to avoid eBay

    P.S. Where do secret laws that you are not allowed to know about fall? If you asked to see it, would it be censored? Can you get a copy from elsewhere?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  107.  
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    btrussell (profile), Dec 16th, 2013 @ 9:35pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Another reason to avoid eBay

    Not much sense in writing articles about it then I guess, eh?

    I think you have hit the key to a great successful company! Just do what you want, regardless of what the people want.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  108.  
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    btrussell (profile), Dec 16th, 2013 @ 9:57pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Another reason to avoid eBay

    Oh, one more thing if I may? If he was charged with fraud, as many are calling for, is that not the government stepping in and declaring what speech is allowed? Government represents the people. The people don't like this mans speech.

    "Because it couldn't be more obvious that the seller was attempting to defraud people who don't read carefully."

    Like a lot of contracts. Try that argument in court. "Yes, I read that it would be two years service contract, but I assumed it meant lifetime, I mean look at the cost?"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  109.  
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    nasch (profile), Dec 17th, 2013 @ 3:25pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Another reason to avoid eBay

    If he was charged with fraud, as many are calling for, is that not the government stepping in and declaring what speech is allowed?

    Yeah, fraudulent speech isn't allowed. Do you think it should be?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  110.  
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    nasch (profile), Dec 17th, 2013 @ 3:26pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Another reason to avoid eBay

    I think you have hit the key to a great successful company! Just do what you want, regardless of what the people want.

    Not sure how you got that from what I said. I never said it would be a good idea for them to take down any old video because they felt like it. I said it would be legal.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  111.  
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    btrussell (profile), Dec 17th, 2013 @ 3:38pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Another reason to avoid eBay

    Do you want to buy a picture of an xbox for $500?

    Yes, I can see how fraudulent that is. Why isn't he being charged with fraud?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  112.  
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    nasch (profile), Dec 17th, 2013 @ 3:53pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Another reason to avoid eBay

    Yes, I can see how fraudulent that is. Why isn't he being charged with fraud?

    Are you saying this particular case wasn't fraud, or that the government should never interfere with free speech, even if it's fraud? Because the first one I would say is a maybe - could go either way. The second one, I think is pretty obvious - the government has a duty to protect its citizens from fraud.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  113.  
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    btrussell (profile), Dec 18th, 2013 @ 2:57am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Another reason to avoid eBay

    Do we use a moron in a hurry to determine what is fraud? If not, this is not fraud. I have no problem with charging and convicting real fraudsters.

    If he had been promised a console and only received a pic, go after him, but being promised a pic and receiving a pic, I see no fraud.

    If you are promised to own something and it turns out you only have a license, is that fraud? If yes, then shouldn't the government being going after them?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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