Tiffany Still Confused About How Liability Works; Appeals eBay Decision
from the let's-try-this-again dept
Last month a US court correctly pointed out that eBay was not liable for counterfeit products showing up on the auction site. That doesn’t mean that it’s legal to sell counterfeit products, just that eBay isn’t liable for the counterfeits showing up there. Instead, it should be the person who actually lists the item that’s liable. That makes perfect common sense. Except to Tiffany, apparently.
The company is now appealing the ruling, making some bizarre arguments in its own defense:
“If one were a flea market operator and you become aware that counterfeiting is going on with the individual sellers at the flea market, you have a duty to investigate it. Why is eBay any different from that analogy?”
Well, two things, actually. First, it’s the individual seller in that situation that’s liable, not the flea market operator, and much more importantly, eBay is quite different than a typical flea market in that it doesn’t pre-vet any of the sellers. A traditional flea market involves the flea market operator finding sellers. eBay is just a platform where anyone can sell. That is, eBay has simply no knowledge of what anyone is selling on the site — nor should it be required to. The law is pretty clear on this, so it’s not at all clear what Tiffany thinks it’s going to accomplish here other than to waste a lot of money on lawyers who seem to be giving the company really bad advice.