Software Industry Assocation About To Learn What Safe Harbors Mean

from the if-you-want-to-waste-your-money,-go-right-ahead... dept

It appears that the Software and Information Industry Association (SIIA) is about to learn what DMCA safe harbors mean. The group is apparently upset about the fact that some people sell counterfeit software on eBay. That's not surprising. But, the SIIA is planning to sue eBay for this activity, rather than going after the counterfeiters themselves. Of course, if anyone from the SIIA had been paying attention, they would know that courts in the US have repeatedly found that eBay and sites like it are protected by various safe harbor provisions. This is for a very good reason: it's not eBay counterfeiting anything. eBay is merely the platform. If the SIIA wants to go after the actual counterfeiters, that's their issue. But going after eBay for providing the platform is going to fail miserably. You would think that a trade group that claims they cover the "Information Industry" would know that already.
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Filed Under: auctions, copyright, counterfeits, dmca, liability, safe harbors, siia
Companies: ebay, siia


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  1. identicon
    Woadan, 25 Jul 2008 @ 6:10pm

    Over at CNet earlier today (article at http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-9999429-93.html?tag=bl):

    *****Begin quote*****
    Kuperfschmid thinks that any SIIA lawsuit would be taking a different approach, perhaps relying more on copyright law than trademark law, which had been Tiffany's strategy. (Tiffany's lawyers said last week that their client was likely to appeal.)

    "The standards are somewhat different under copyright than trademark law," Kuperfschmid said. "If you look in the statute under the DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act), it does have a standard for determining when eBay may or may not be liable," Kuperfschmid said.

    And if courts eventually rule that the DMCA doesn't force eBay to be the kind of Net-cop that the SIIA might like, there's always one remaining option: rewrite the law.
    *****End quote*****

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