Finding A Good Deal On eBay No Longer A Crime In Germany

from the phew dept

A German court has thankfully overturned an earlier ruling where a man was found guilty of buying stolen goods on eBay after he bought a GPS navigation system cheaply via auction. The guy had no clue it was stolen, but a lower court said he should have known since it was so cheap. That seems like an odd ruling, since eBay, as an auction site, has a huge range of prices -- and sometimes you really can find quite cheap items. Luckily, the higher court has overturned the ruling, finding that the man couldn't have known the GPS device was stolen. If the ruling had been upheld, just imagine the liability for finding a good deal on eBay?


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Poomer, Oct 2nd, 2007 @ 6:11am

    LOL

    Hahahaha...The moral of the story is that Germans are funny folks!!

     

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  2.  
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    Danny, Oct 2nd, 2007 @ 6:30am

    Heart in the right place?

    I get the feeling that the lower court's decision was based on the desire to combat ebay fraud (and if you think everyone on ebay is honest I want to know what you're smoking and how much for a gram of it). Obviously the price of an item is no sure fire way to spot fraud and stolen goods but it is nice to see that someone is thinking.

     

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  3.  
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    Yagmur, Oct 2nd, 2007 @ 6:57am

    low price is not an indicator for stolen goods

    Stolen goods are not rare in ebay and this is because that they can be sold for regular prices. So the low price is not an indicator of something being stolen.

     

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  4.  
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    Poomer, Oct 2nd, 2007 @ 7:05am

    Re: Heart in the right place?

    Genralizing low price as a "flag" in a fraud monitoring system: beliving too much in a detection/monitoring systems can be very dangerous. Even a 99.99%-accuracy-proven system always has false positives and false negatives and actually legislatively acting upon these "flags" can lead to chaos...

     

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  5.  
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    Poomer, Oct 2nd, 2007 @ 7:09am

    Question

    Is buying stolen goods as bad as actually stealing? Should the answer change if the goods were bought knowlingly or not knowling?

     

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  6.  
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    ~me, Oct 2nd, 2007 @ 7:51am

    Where

    Where's dorpus? It would be nice to get a good story about something tragic in some Asian country to fill in the blanks here.

     

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  7.  
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    dorpus, Oct 2nd, 2007 @ 8:17am

    Re: Where

    Shut the fuck up, bitch.

     

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  8.  
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    Overcast, Oct 2nd, 2007 @ 8:23am

    Is buying stolen goods as bad as actually stealing? Should the answer change if the goods were bought knowlingly or not knowling?

    Certainly... at least from a Moral standpoint... If you don't know the goods are stolen, what can you do? If you do know they are stolen, then yeah - it's the same as stealing, IMO.

    But heck - anyone who has bought good from E-bay, Pawn Shop, Flea Market... you just never know, could have been stolen goods.

     

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  9.  
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    Overcast, Oct 2nd, 2007 @ 8:26am

    And actually - years ago I was working as a security guard at a packaging plant. It seems that some employees stole a truck load of batteries and managed to find a fence who sold them to a shady distributor, so they needed someone to verify all the bills of lading. So heck - could even end up at regular retail, lol

     

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  10.  
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    combman, Oct 2nd, 2007 @ 8:49am

    Re: low price is not an indicator for stolen goods

    Agreed. Crooks often know the value of what they've stolen and hold out close to market value. On the flip side, there are lots of idiots who will sell the PS3 Grandma bought them for Xmas for $50 if they need the cash badly enough.

     

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  11.  
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    nipseyrussell, Oct 2nd, 2007 @ 8:51am

    Re: Heart in the right place?

    "Heart in the right place? by Danny: I get the feeling that the lower court's decision was based on the desire to combat ebay fraud... it is nice to see that someone is thinking."
    wow! its amazing to see that someone can read the same thing and come away with a totally different (and wrong) opinion. the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and its this same "well something must be done, so we'll do something, no matter how useless and damaging" attitude that gets terrible laws passed. Do you think this poor german schmuck who was convicted for getting a good deal on e-bay thinks this is "nice"???

     

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  12.  
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    TheDock22, Oct 2nd, 2007 @ 8:57am

    Not a moral issue

    This isn't a moral issue since the guy probably did not know the goods were stolen. It would be wrong if the guy kept the stolen goods rather than giving them back to the rightful owner, but he does not deserve jail time over this.

    This is another one of those assume the person is guilty sort of things. If he was given the option to buy a legit GPS, buy a stolen GPS for an extremely low price, or steal one himself I bet he would buy a legit one. One the other hand, the lower court probably had a pretty good reason to convict him in the first place other than he might have known this GPS was stolen.

    All in all, he who stole the item in the first place should be punished, not the victims of fraud afterwards.

     

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  13.  
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    Danny, Oct 2nd, 2007 @ 9:40am

    Re: Re: Heart in the right place?

    No the notion of "I want to do good," is not the same as "I want to look good." Just as there are politicians that push for laws just so they can get a few extra votes and have a nice sound byte to add to their campaign there are a some out there that do want to do good but don't understand what they are getting into.

    I'm sure the guy that was convicted did not think it was nice but at the same time expecting courts to put down a perfect ruling each and evertime is a pipe dream, for now.

    The road to hell is paved with good intentions but that does not mean that every good intention will take you to hell.

     

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  14.  
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    Wolfger, Oct 2nd, 2007 @ 9:47am

    Re: Where

    Please don't bait the village idiot.

     

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  15.  
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    iphone, Oct 2nd, 2007 @ 10:57am

    why?

     

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  16.  
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    nipsey russell, Oct 2nd, 2007 @ 7:59pm

    Re: Re: Re: Heart in the right place?

    "there are a some out there that do want to do good but don't understand what they are getting into. "
    sorry, not good enough, in this case, those willing to risk collateral damage such as this are as bad as the problem they want to solve

     

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  17.  
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    Geo, Oct 3rd, 2007 @ 7:40am

    Re: cheap?

    Hope they don;t check the price of items. I just bought a laser printer with toner for 14p (UK) about 7c US.

     

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  18.  
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    Geo, Oct 3rd, 2007 @ 7:41am

    Re: Re: cheap?

    Woops - should have been 28c (US) not 7...

     

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