Court Rejects eBay Memorabilia Appeal

from the good-decision dept

A Court of Appeals has refused to hear a case from some angry buyers of some sports memorabilia on eBay. The merchandise was fake, and because you always sue the entity with the most money, these buyers sued eBay. eBay’s defense, of course, was that they’re just the venue, and they have nothing to do with the merchandise. The court, wisely, agreed. This is the same sort of case as ones that question whether or not ISPs are responsible for what content their users put online. It’s good to see a smart court decision about the internet every once in a while.

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Comments on “Court Rejects eBay Memorabilia Appeal”

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Ed says:


As I understand it, if you buy sports memorabilia at a real live auction, the auctioneer is required to vouch for the authenticity of the items (in California, at least). And despite eBay’s position that they’re ‘just a venue’, it sure seems like they’re running auctions and taking commissions to me.

I’ll bet that eBay’s legal position has something to do with why the word ‘auction’ is actually pretty hard to find on their site. In a cursory search I found only one place where that word was actually used by eBay (search by seller and sort by ‘auction end date’). Everywhere else they are careful to use generic terms like seller and item.

Mike (profile) says:

Re: But...

True. But, the difference is that at a live auction, the auctioneer has the chance to actually review the material and see it. That’s not the case for eBay. They’re not actually acting as the “auctioneer” in a typical sense, in that they never see the merchandise, and no one at eBay has anything to do with the actual transaction.

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