Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
The Courts Government Businesses The Internet User Journal The Almighty Buck News

Ebay Fined $61M By French Court For Sales of Fake Goods 399

Posted by timothy
from the france-v.-the-internet-continued dept.

A court in France ordered eBay to pay more than 61 mega-dollars to the parent company (LVMH) of Givenchy, Fendi, Marc Jacobs and Louis Vuitton, because a user sold fake goods on the website. eBay has been sued by other 'luxury goods' vendors (such as Tiffany's (US), Rolex (Germany) and L'Oreal (EU)). Problems stem from some companies demanding that their merchandise (even legal merchandise) not be displayed nor sold as it is a violation of their 'property.' Others have complained that eBay is too slow to take down claims. Apparently eBay was hit with two violations: 1) eBay illegally allowed legitimately purchased and owned products made by LVMH to be resold on its website by 3rd parties not under the control of LVMH, and 2) not doing enough to protect LVMH's brands from illegal sales. eBay has said it will appeal. So eBay is to know what products every company allows to be sold before allowing them to on auction?

(There's also coverage at Yahoo News.)

Update: 07/01 17:15 GMT by T : That's LVMH throughout, rather than LVHM, as originally rendered.

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Ebay Fined $61M By French Court For Sales of Fake Goods

Comments Filter:
  • by elrous0 (869638) * on Tuesday July 01, 2008 @10:35AM (#24016511)
    The French government and courts have a long history of issuing prejudiced laws and decisions in favor of French companies (especially in cases where the opposition are American or British companies), but this is disturbing even by their standards. While ostensibly about counterfeit goods, this ruling goes FAR beyond that--giving the original producer full control of resell rights for even LEGITIMATE goods. In short, the ruling (if allowed to stand) basically says that no one actually owns any physical object anymore or can resell said object without permission of the original producer.

    Want to resell your Corrola? Sorry, you have to get Toyota's permission first.

    Want to resell your house? Not unless the original builder says okay!

    Want to sell your soul? Well, that one you can do. Just become a French judge!

    • by haystor (102186) on Tuesday July 01, 2008 @10:36AM (#24016553)

      The French companies are laughing until they're sued by the raw goods producing companies and told they can't distribute their handbags.

    • by Swizec (978239) on Tuesday July 01, 2008 @10:42AM (#24016637) Homepage
      So basically like what we have in the music and software worlds pretty much? You don't quite own that CD, you're just allowed to use it because the product they leased to you is on it ... something like that?
      • by gnick (1211984) on Tuesday July 01, 2008 @11:12AM (#24017103) Homepage

        So basically like what we have in the music and software worlds pretty much? You don't quite own that CD, you're just allowed to use it because the product they leased to you is on it ... something like that?

        I know what you're getting at but, under normal circumstances, there's nothing stopping you from buying and selling used CDs. Now, copying/distributing the content on those CDs via different media - That's where the system falls apart.

    • by jellomizer (103300) on Tuesday July 01, 2008 @10:54AM (#24016821)

      And yet they wonder why the French Echonomy is sagging.
      If the seller fears retribution from using and reslling french products. They will not get French products in the first place. 3rd party sales while doesn't direcly effect the bottom line it does get product awarenes of your goods.

      If you get a used Toyota and you love it. If you choose to get a new car you may buy a Toyota. or other perople see that your used toyota has lased so long and they want a new car they would get a new Toyota, also the person who has sold the car if they liked it the chances are they would use the money to buy a new car of the same make, if they have brand loyality to that make.

      I understand forgeries, as it could tarnish the brand names. But for legit items let them resell them.

      • by sjbe (173966) on Tuesday July 01, 2008 @11:35AM (#24017459)

        I understand forgeries, as it could tarnish the brand names. But for legit items let them resell them.

        You are right of course but eBay's problem is that eBay cannot be bothered to seriously check. The ONLY way to be reasonably sure an item is not a fake is to inspect it in person and have a full documentation trail detailing who bought it, where they bought it, and when. This is what they do in the art world to authenticate pieces. Since eBay never physically inspects ANY merchandise sold on their site, there is no way they can possible determine if an item is a fake.

        From my own experience I've sold some high end luxury goods on consignment through eBay. (Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Rolex, etc) In each case I had a full documentation trail, the parties were known to me or my close associates, and we had the items physically inspected by an expert in that merchandise to ensure authenticity. Through eBay's VeRO [ebay.com] program we were accused several times of pedaling fakes even though we had the real thing. There was no opportunity for us to prove that we had authentic merchandise though we certainly could have done so were there any means to plead our case. Our auctions were summarily taken down and we were given strikes with no recourse of any kind. To be sure there are a TON of actual fakes on eBay but eBay sure as hell can't tell the difference. Worse, to avoid lawsuits they've given brand holders full power to remove auctions that they should have no power to influence under the first sale doctrine [wikipedia.org].

        The problem is that eBay's incentives are all wrong - they just want their fees and no lawsuits - and they've handed responsibility (through VeRO) to trademark and brand holders whose incentives actually contradict the law. Louis Vuitton doesn't want ANY of their products sold via eBay regardless of authenticity. So eBay users get screwed in the deal either way. Sellers can have their auctions pulled for no good reason and buyers can't be reasonably sure of authentic products because eBay refuses to check. The winners here are definitely not you and me.

        • by croddy (659025) * on Tuesday July 01, 2008 @11:46AM (#24017609)

          VERO is also the program through which Ebay has given Scientology carte blanche to illegally infringe on first-sale rights of people with used RTC gear. Until Ebay takes a modicum of responsibility for the rampant and obvious illegal abuse of VERO (or cancels it altogether) I want nothing to do with Ebay.

          Unfortunately, everything Ebay's help pages say about canceling your account is a falsehood. I've been asking them to close my account since February and I am still able to log in and I still get their weekly spam messages about my favorite sellers.

          Ebay was cool back when it had something resembling competition. Now it's just another bloated, useless pig doing the bare minimum it must to continue collecting monopoly rents.

          • by cliffski (65094) on Tuesday July 01, 2008 @12:30PM (#24018401) Homepage

            Its funny to see the VERO program criticised for being too strict, as I'm sure given ebays incompetence, it can sometimes be.
            My experience with VERO is that it is useless to actually do anything about blatantly stolen property (in other words, people duplicating full versions of games on a CD burner, and openly selling them on ebay). In cases like this, ebay are VERY VERY slow to respond, and take no serious action against the sellers, sometimes removing a listing, rarely banning an account (new account takes a few hours).

            For smaller IP holders like me, ebay and google are both unresponsive, disinterested bastards. Try getting pirated content removed from a blogger blog, for example...

      • by porcupine8 (816071) on Tuesday July 01, 2008 @11:55AM (#24017753) Journal
        3rd party sales while doesn't direcly effect the bottom line it does get product awarenes of your goods.

        I would say it DOES affect the bottom line. Let's say I'm choosing between a Toyota and a Honda, pretty much equivalent models for $20,000 each. If I know I can resell the Toyota five years from now for $10,000 but that Honda won't let me resell the Honda ever, well, the Toyota just became a lot cheaper than the Honda in the long run!

        Now, some people may not think this way when it comes to designer bags - but a LOT do. There are many women who can only afford to carry around a collection of $500-1000 bags because they keep one for a couple of months then sell it to a consignment shop for half price to help buy the next one. Still an expensive hobby, but suddenly within the reach of someone who's upper-middle-class instead of only celebrities.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by RobBebop (947356)

      There are two pretty legitimate sides of this argument. (1) an individual has a right to sell the stuff that she owns, and (2) a company has a right to protect their "brand".

      I don't know what the EBay policy is on selling "fake" items, but if the companies care so much about "defending their brand" they should feel obligated to "re-buy" their products from customers who no longer have a use for such things. That would seem to balance the resale market.

      Basically, if Tiffany's, Rolex, and L'Oreal will

    • by dascritch (808772)

      It wasn't the point of the trial. LVMH even said (French TV) that reselling second-hand handbag was NOT the subject, because reselling is legal in France.

      The main problem is the number of pure falsifications you can find on eBay, and lot of users doing this seems purely "professional" in this kind of fake business.

    • The French government and courts have a long history of issuing prejudiced laws and decisions in favor of French companies (especially in cases where the opposition are American or British companies), but this is disturbing even by their standards.

      As opposed to how the US does things [google.com]? C'mon.

    • Want to resell your Corrola? Sorry, you have to get Toyota's permission first.

      Not really. As I understand it this is because "a user sold fake goods on the website", not legitimate stuff. This is like selling a counterfeit Toyota, witch is illegal, IRL AND on eBay. I am pleased to see that eBay is being held accountable for all the rip-offs users sell on that Website. It's like a street corner with all kinds of criminals who sell counterfeit fake goods, making buyers believe they are original "genuine" (TM by Microsoft).

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Fred_A (10934)

      The French government and courts have a long history of issuing prejudiced laws and decisions in favor of French companies (especially in cases where the opposition are American or British companies), but this is disturbing even by their standards. While ostensibly about counterfeit goods, this ruling goes FAR beyond that--giving the original producer full control of resell rights for even LEGITIMATE goods.

      Of course, there are fewer French companies with an international reach than there are US companies, so this may explain that. When <foreign> company sues a French one it never makes the headlines after all (except here, sometimes).

      However this does not explain the number of brain dead decisions by the local (yes, I'm French and live in Paris) courts that have happened lately. Now there *is* a cottage industry of resellers of fake handbags, mostly ordinary, everyday people, that supplement their incom

    • by Ed Avis (5917) <ed@membled.com> on Tuesday July 01, 2008 @11:41AM (#24017535) Homepage
      Indeed, this has little to do with counterfeiting. From the BBC news article [bbc.co.uk]:

      Four perfume brands - Dior, Guerlain, Kenzo and Givenchy - sued for what they called "illicit sales" of their products.
      They alleged that even auctions involving their legitimate perfumes were illegal, because only specialist dealers were permitted to sell them.
      The court barred eBay from selling the four perfumes in future.

      It will be interesting to see what Brussels has to say about this.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 01, 2008 @11:49AM (#24017667)
      OH my GOD a FRANCE is INVOLVED!!! QUICK, hate speech!!! GO USA!!!!!
    • by Nursie (632944) on Tuesday July 01, 2008 @11:56AM (#24017773)

      "The French government and courts have a long history of issuing prejudiced laws and decisions in favor of French companies"

      The US Government and courts have a long history of issuing prejudiced laws and decisions in favour of US companies (look at online gambling and a billion other things)

      The British Government and courts have a long history of issuing prejudiced laws and decisions in favour of British companies (see the fiasco around BAE systems and the serious fraud office being stopped from investigating them for "National Security" reasons)

      Everyone's at it. And the people of the whole world are the losers.

    • by somersault (912633) on Tuesday July 01, 2008 @11:59AM (#24017809) Homepage Journal

      Any companies that the government tries to pull this stunt on should just move elsewhere. I'm sure there would be a public outcry if eBay said "fine, we're not dealing with you jerks anymore". I've heard that the French public are quite good at their protesting - they brought the country to a standstill when the government tried to increase fuel taxes..

    • The subtlety that the French law turns on, I believe who owns the name of the object. It's complete caca, but but is an important distinction. If someone resold LVMH's toilet water as 'toilet water' (no label), then there would be no issue. It's when you use the name on the product.

      I'm not sure how else you refer to an item without using its name. But having rules about language -- who may say what (some countries have official bodies to rule on grammar and word usage! ;^/ ). But I think part of the pr

  • First sale? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by llamalad (12917) on Tuesday July 01, 2008 @10:37AM (#24016563)

    Does France not have anything along the lines of the 'first sale' doctrine?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First-sale_doctrine [wikipedia.org]

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by ScentCone (795499)
      Does France not have anything along the lines of the 'first sale' doctrine?

      No, but they really should have a "first, duck!" rule. Even public displays of their government at work [mirror.co.uk] can be very dangerous.
    • Re:First sale? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Lord Crowface (1315695) on Tuesday July 01, 2008 @12:05PM (#24017891)

      Indeed they do. It's called "Exhaustion of Rights" and is an EU-wide legal doctrine. At least in Germany, interpretations of this have gone so far as to completely void the "no resale" clauses in licenses for products like AutoCAD and various OEM releases from M$, but I'm not sure if the French interpret it quite as broadly.

      Here's the Wikipedia article, for what its worth: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exhaustion_of_rights [wikipedia.org]

  • L@@K (Score:5, Funny)

    by larry bagina (561269) on Tuesday July 01, 2008 @10:38AM (#24016581) Journal
    A++ douchebags, would sue again.
  • by Rinisari (521266) on Tuesday July 01, 2008 @10:38AM (#24016591) Homepage Journal

    IIRC, Americans enjoy the right to sell any of their possessions, provided they acquired them legally.

  • Is that one up version of the super dollar [wikipedia.org].

    And yes, I know its technically correct but it's also ultra-geek even by slashdot standards.

    • Is that one up version of the super dollar.

      Yes it is. And soon someone will become the first to make 1 Giga-dollar and become

      *drum roll*

      a gigadollionaire

  • Not 'property' (Score:4, Informative)

    by twatter (867120) on Tuesday July 01, 2008 @10:49AM (#24016739)

    It doesn't matter that the term is enclosed in quotes in the submission. We're talking about trademarks here. If these companies don't take action regarding this they will be allowing their trademarks to be diluted, making them more and more difficult to defend.

    This has nothing to do with IP.

    Any defendant in court for trademark infringement can bring up the fact that the plaintiff is allowing eBay to sell thousands of cheap imitations. And they would win the case based on that, probably.

    Trademark law pretty much requires things like these be done, and the companies have no choice but to go after the entity facilitating the sales.

    It's not nice, but that's what it is.

    • by russotto (537200)
      There is no dilution of a trademark if it is used to identify the item covered by it. LVHM succeeded in getting eBay sanctioned for allowing users to sell _real_ handbags made by LVHM, not just fakes. From the SUMMARY:

      1) eBay illegally allowed legitimately purchased and owned products made by LVHM to be resold on its website by 3rd parties not under the control of LVHM,

    • by Enleth (947766)

      But it's not only about conterfeit goods (that should actually be banned, I'm OK with that) - it's about reselling genuine, original and legally acquired goods. Read the summary again, this time more carefully.

    • Reading the article, there are two cases here. Ebay was fined because they haven't done enough to prevent counterfeit goods being sold and allowing legitimate goods to be sold outside their normal distribution channels. In the first case, the manufacturer has every right to protect their trademarks. It's not that Ebay isn't trying; the complaint is that Ebay doesn't do it fast/good enough.

      The second case is that certain companies wanted to ensure that you could only buy their products from them or their

  • Laughed Out of Court (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    This would get laughed out of court in the United States.

    First Sale doctrine.

    God Bless America!

    • Blind to the facts (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Senjutsu (614542) on Tuesday July 01, 2008 @11:59AM (#24017805)

      "The Rolex trademark recordation with Customs indicates "Import of Goods Bearing Genuine Trademarks or Trade Names Restricted." This means that genuine Rolex products can only be imported with the permission of the trademark owner, Rolex Watch U.S.A. Inc. A private individual can hand carry one Rolex watch from a trip overseas without obtaining permission. Bring in more than one, and they will all be seized as a trademark violation. Purchasing a Rolex from overseas by mail is also a trademark violation." Title 19 U.S.C. 1526(a) and (b)

      Buy a legitimate Rolex from a foreign seller on eBay and try having it sent to you, and see how your tune changes.

  • by ciscoguy01 (635963) on Tuesday July 01, 2008 @10:51AM (#24016783)
    Received from eBay yesterday, revised user agreement and privacy policy terms. What a coincidence!

    Received: Jun-30-08
    Changes to the eBay User Agreement and Privacy Policy

    I'm writing to let you know that the eBay User Agreement and eBay Privacy Policy have been updated, effective immediately for new users and on August 13, 2008, for current users.

    The most important thing to keep in mind about this update is that your rights, and our responsibilities, under the User Agreement and Privacy Policy have changed very little. This update was spurred by an international project, rolling out now, that will make the user agreements and privacy policies for eBay platforms around the world much more consistent. This way, when you interact with any eBay platform around the world, you can be sure that very similar policies apply to you no matter where you do your transactions.

    There is one substantive change to our User Agreement I'd like to point out. We changed the "Content" and "Liability" sections to accommodate a new program we're rolling out worldwide. That program makes catalogs of content and product descriptions available to sellers, so they can easily include complete and up-to-date product information for the items they list.

    Similarly, we've revised the Privacy Policy's "Disclosure" section to make sure that the language we've used there accurately reflects the ways in which we're transferring information between companies in the eBay Inc. corporate family to streamline services, fight fraud and provide you with the best, most relevant experience when you use any of the sites or services of the eBay corporate family.

    With these changes, we continue to make sure that our legal documents are consistent with the ways our sites and services are evolving and that we meet the needs of our user community. We hope you'll agree that these changes will make the eBay sites and services work better for you. If you accept the new User Agreement and Privacy Policy, you don't need to take any action. If you do not wish to accept the new User Agreement or Privacy Policy, please refer to our Help pages for instructions on how to close your account.

    Thank you for using eBay and we look forward to many more successful transactions!

    Sincerely,

    Scott Shipman Senior Counsel -- Global Privacy Practices eBay Inc.

    The important change is in the liability section:

    Liability
    You will not hold eBay responsible for other users' content, actions or inactions, or items they list. You acknowledge that we are not a traditional auctioneer. Instead, the sites are a venue to allow anyone to offer, sell, and buy just about anything, at anytime, from anywhere, in a variety of pricing formats and venues, such as stores, fixed price formats and auction-style formats. We are not involved in the actual transaction between buyers and sellers. We have no control over and do not guarantee the quality, safety or legality of items advertised, the truth or accuracy of users' content or listings, the ability of sellers to sell items, the ability of buyers to pay for items, or that a buyer or seller will actually complete a transaction.

    We do not transfer legal ownership of items from the seller to the buyer, and nothing in this agreement shall modify the governing provisions of California Commercial Code 2401(2) and Uniform Commercial Code 2-401(2), under which legal ownership of an item is transferred upon physical delivery of the item to the buyer by the seller. Unless the buyer and the seller agree otherwise, the buyer will become the item's lawful owner upon physical receipt of the item from the seller, in accordance with California Commercial Code 2401(2) and Uniform Commercial Code 2-401(2). Further, we cannot guarantee continuous or secure access to our services, and operation of the sites may be interfered with by numerous factors outside of our control. According

  • Stupid and dangerous (Score:5, Interesting)

    by khton (1146311) on Tuesday July 01, 2008 @10:51AM (#24016785)

    This is not the first time that French courts show a complete misunderstanding of how the Internet works... And this goes even further than net economics.

    Most french used cars are still sold via a single newspaper called "La Centrale des Particuliers". Should this newspaper verify that each car is rightfully owned by its seller ? I cannot imagine any judge trying to enforce this...

    Hopefully, this judgment shall be broken by the "Cour de Cassation", because it does not make any sense. Maybe the judge was only trying to get some publicity. This happens a lot,

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by DerekLyons (302214)

      This is not the first time that French courts show a complete misunderstanding of how the Internet works...


      I sometimes think rather the opposite is the problem... The 'net and many of it's denizens don't understand how the real world works and don't think they should have to anyhow. As if the 'net was some free form construct completely unconnected to the real world.

  • by jd.schmidt (919212) on Tuesday July 01, 2008 @10:52AM (#24016791)

    While it is VERY silly to expect EBay to prevent all counterfeit items AND that whole resale of trademarked items is scary, it might point out a flaw in their business model. Consider a "consignment" store or pawn shop that takes a cut of each sale and is stocked with stolen and fake items. Eventually, if you have enough of this nonsense, I think it is fair to consider that store a fence and not a legitimate business.

    The more EBay takes a "cut" of each sale, the more they become part of the transaction. Perhaps a flat fee. I am sure EBay wants to make as much profit as possible, but if they become a party to each transaction they can't help but take on some liability.

    • by ink (4325) *

      http://paris.en.craigslist.org/clo/693065258.html

      Agenda fonctionnel LOUIS VUITTON moyen modÃle en cuir épi noir.

      Occasion mais trÃs peu servi et en excellent état. L'agenda est livré avec les intercalaires et des pages répertoires et de notes blaches et de couleur ainsi que des pochettes carte de visites. L'agenda est vendu 335 euros neuf en boutique. Fermoir avec bouton pression. 6 anneaux (taille standard, vous trouverez des recharges sans aucune dif

    • While it is VERY silly to expect EBay to prevent all counterfeit items

      As far as I knew, they had their own version of a take-down notice, and insisted that various companies search for their knockoffs online.

  • This hurts eBay how? (Score:3, Informative)

    by dada21 (163177) <adam.dada@gmail.com> on Tuesday July 01, 2008 @10:52AM (#24016807) Homepage Journal

    eBay, while not a friend of mine, is a great tool to ascertain value in various markets. I use eBay daily to judge pricing for items I want to buy, or items I may wish to sell, notably collectibles (I hate collectibles, but own some). eBay's overhead is always passed on to sellers.

    When eBay gets hit with a judgment for allowing someone else to sell a product, that judgment will only be passed on to sellers in the future. $60m is not a big figure, and considering that eBay lists hundreds of millions of items annually, the cost to offset this judgment as passed on to sellers is less than a penny per item. Not a huge cost to eBay.

    The trademark holders are the ones who have a lot to fear, though, which is why they're going after eBay in friendly jurisdictions. I've seen some knockoff items sold online, and they're fairly good, and in some cases better quality, than the originals. With the coming economic recession, I'm sure many previous buyers of the overpriced consumer goods are likely pulling out of buying new products, so the trademark holders need these judgments collected just to keep their heads above water.

    eBay should fight this, strongly, because they are merely a middle man, and they do offer the ability of a company to pull auctions if they're deemed illicit or illegal. Yes, eBay is probably slow on pulling every auction, but the fact that the market shows a demand for a given product, even a knock-off, means that the market isn't going away. Surely it will only hurt the trademark holders more when the news media tells consumers that knock-off products are so readily available and so cheap.

    Good luck, eBay, I hope you win the appeal. If not, you'll just pass the cost on to sellers, and no one will be concerned a year or two from now.

  • Sales tax revolt (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Just Some Guy (3352) <kirk+slashdot@strauser.com> on Tuesday July 01, 2008 @10:54AM (#24016825) Homepage Journal

    Sounds like a perfect excuse for the French to stop paying sales tax. If the item doesn't actually belong to you, why should you be responsible for paying for it?

    Oh, and I think LVHM might want to explain to government why they've been hiding at least $61M of their property from the tax authorities.

  • by Noryungi (70322) on Tuesday July 01, 2008 @10:54AM (#24016833) Homepage Journal

    Before everyone gets on their high horses about this, remember:

    1) French companies sued mainly because fake goods were sold on eBay. Selling fake stuff (anywhere, on the net and off) is a big problem for French luxury companies.

    2) French companies also sued to prevent people selling real luxury goods at cut prices. This is abusive since it criminalizes legal owners and sellers in order to protect their 'official' resellers. However, eBay has appealed and I am pretty certain this will be struck down by the French courts.

    Finally, of course, this leaves the problem of certifying that, let's say a Chanel bag, is the real thing on eBay and not a fake. This could be helped by supplying some sort of authenticity voucher that sellers could produce if asked by eBay.

    That would solve the problem: eBay could simply say to a seller "please show us the voucher that says this is the genuine article or pull your offer". Yes, I know, what's to say the seller is not going to produce a fake voucher, but still.

    The thing with France right now is that they are trying to combine two things: e-commerce and checking that articles sold are genuine. Not an easy thing to pull off, and these fscking French companies are not taking the right path (suing instead of cooperating). Then again, maybe eBay just refused to cooperate, and they thought suing was the easiest way to obtain results and a more cooperative eBay.

    So - as strange as it may seem right now - this could have a positive impact on the quality of eBay auctions. Think about it for a moment, before posting stupid French jokes.

    • by whoever57 (658626)

      2) French companies also sued to prevent people selling real luxury goods at cut prices. This is abusive since it criminalizes legal owners and sellers in order to protect their 'official' resellers. However, eBay has appealed and I am pretty certain this will be struck down by the French courts.

      I hope that this is struck down, but I don't think it is so certain. European companies have already used the courts to prevent "parallel imports" -- otherwise known as gray market imports -- items legally bought

    • by fermion (181285)
      First, let me say that many of the products are worth the money for persons who enjoy having this merchandise and have the money to spend on it. OTOH, some of these luxury good companies are predatory as they sometimes target persons who do not have the money to buy the products. Which is neither here nor there, just want to get it out of the way.

      Now the specific response. As always, if a person is using a trademark without a license, which is all that is happening in this case, then absolutely go afte

  • I bought a "Sony" Memory Stick Pro Duo 8GB from ebay the other week.

    It's a fake. Annoyed the hell out of me. It works and is 8GB but it's slow as hell.

    Unfortunately I can't find a way to raise a dispute on ebay except "contact the seller", and when I try that it says the seller is no longer a member of ebay...

    So yeah, it would be nice to have some assurance that what I'm buying is the real thing.

    (I agree that this ruling is ridiculous if it allows companies to control resale of their goods, but getting coun

  • You will not and have not sold, allowed the resell, schemed, plotted, or remained unaware of sales of any of [insert company name] products, ideas, images, trademarks, copyrights, materials both existent and non existent belonging to [insert company name] if it violets what [insert company name] believes to be it's profit margin with or without justification. Failure to adhere to this notice from this point forward, and or up until this point shall result in the immediate suing of every penny we believe we
  • by brufar (926802) on Tuesday July 01, 2008 @10:58AM (#24016893)
    Summary calls it LVHM, but the company website AND both news stories call it LVMH.

    http://www.lvmh.com/ [lvmh.com]

    At the very least if you are going to capitalize the company reference multiple times throughout the article, please work on getting the 4 letters in the correct order..
  • First sale doctrine doesn't hold anymore?

    Hey, this is great, you know, from now on I can dictate to my employer that he may not resell my work...

    • by Shados (741919)

      yeah, and your employer will also say that you may not WORK for him anymore either =P

  • Cisco will be next on the bandwagon. They've been trying to stop second-hand sales of their equipment for years.

  • by DragonPup (302885) on Tuesday July 01, 2008 @11:15AM (#24017137)

    eBay does let a lot of counterfeit and bootlegged products sell and they never seemed too concerned about removing them. I tried an experiment where I reported about 40 obviously bootlegged DVDs, and a few sellers who deal heavily in them. A few days later, not one auction pulled, not one user banned.

    Until they get sued, they don't have a fiscal reason to pull an auction of bootlegs.

  • Idea for a line of CafePress objects: "Not Louis Vuitton; but at least I fucking own it." (replace with other LVHM brands as appropriate)

    Crude snark aside, I wonder if, in the long term, this sort of thing will reduce the cachet associated with these sorts of brands? The marketing of luxury stuff is heavy on invocations of status, and ownership, and quasi-aristocratic tradition. None of these things are even remotely compatible with goods that are considered to be controlled by the "IP rights-holder" for
  • Problems stem from some companies demanding that their merchandise (even legal merchandise) not be displayed nor sold as it is a violation of their 'property.'

    Do the French have some sort of equivalent to the first sale doctrine ruling [wikipedia.org]?

  • but only because they set the precedent... Ebay is constantly pulling auctions with little or no warning from people based on companies asking them too without really looking into "why". In some cases it's very legitimate, like say Blizzard not wanting people to sell their WoW accounts and so they work with Ebay to pull them down. On the other hand it can be something we see as silly as the case of LVHM not wanting their products sold by 3rd parties.

    Name Brand, Designer items are expensive because their is

  • Credit Check! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by poormanjoe (889634)
    The problem is the merchandise is counterfeit!

    Yes, of course an individual has every right to sell their own merchandise, but when criminals attempt to sell counterfeit items it's also a (good) companies prerogative to thwart common crooks from stealing their property. Ebay should implement a credit check. This wouldn't solve the problem but it sure would help. I don't want to buy fake goods any more than I want to buy stolen goods from an 18 year old who stole jewlery from her grandmother so she could
  • by Angst Badger (8636) on Tuesday July 01, 2008 @11:32AM (#24017409)

    Considering how often eBay gets sued in French courts, eBay management might want to consider doing a cost-benefit analysis of doing business in France in the first place. I'm not jumping on the knee-jerk anti-French bandwagon here -- it's their country, and they can run it any damn way they please -- but from a purely practical business standpoint, the barrage of lawsuits in the French market would give me pause, personally, if I was on the eBay board.

  • Maybe this is good (Score:3, Interesting)

    by blind biker (1066130) on Tuesday July 01, 2008 @11:47AM (#24017623) Journal

    I was sold a fake Kingston elite pro SD card. Those are one of the few SD cards with SLC Flash memory, 100.000 write/erase cycles. So, I was pretty adamant I wanted the real "elite pro", but got a forgery, which was visible from the very poor quality of print on the label as well as the packaging. Also, I had a few originals I could compare against. Finally, the cards failed to pass a few tests I threw at them, so I was adamant I wanted my money back. I notified eBay, but they never did a damned thing about this case.

    I hope $60+ million will make eBay listen to their buying customers (not only their bigger sellers), when they report a forged item.

    And forged memory cards and flash drives are massively present on eBay. If it's from China, Hong Kong or Australia, it's almost certainly a fake.

  • by billcopc (196330) <vrillco@yahoo.com> on Tuesday July 01, 2008 @01:02PM (#24019073) Homepage

    I'm sure everyone caught it, but for yet more emphasis:

    1) eBay illegally allowed legitimately purchased and owned products made by LVMH to be resold on its website by 3rd parties not under the control of LVMH, and 2) not doing enough to protect LVMH's brands from illegal sales

    LVMH can tell their retailers how to sell the products, as they have a direct contractual relationship. They CANNOT tell the end-user, or anyone else beyond that first hop, what to do with it, what to charge for it, or which orifice to insert it. There's no licensing agreement, you don't have to sign a 2-page contract in order to buy a stupid shiny watch or pink bag. There's no LVMH auditor that comes to your dressing room and checks your papers every time you spritz on a bit of Eau-de-Poopoo.

    Next point: illegal sales (counterfeit items). Ebay does not handle the actual items. Ebay does not have omniscience and superman laser vision. Ebay has no way to even guess that a seller is peddling fakes. In many cases, even the end-user can't tell the fake from the original (which says a lot about how cheap the real one is!). With the intrinsic right of resale, you can't outlaw resale, so the guy selling fakes is indistinguishable from a reseller (well, except for his plentiful stock, delivered every week from Singapore)

    The fact that a French court actually upheld this ridicule tells me Ebay should withdraw its services from France, along with all its subsidiaries and sister companies. If France wants to be hostile toward online businesses, then they're more than welcome to do without. Some smaller, skeevier company will fill in the void, until they get burned as well. The French government is a mockery, and everyone has the freedom to stand at their border, point, and laugh.

  • Cockroach scatter (Score:3, Insightful)

    by t33jster (1239616) on Tuesday July 01, 2008 @01:09PM (#24019213)
    What's especially stupid about this is that if LV winds up forcing eBay out of this category, 100 new markets will open up. This has already started with the counterfeit sellers who have been forced off of eBay.

    Example: You can't buy a gun on eBay. I think it was after Columbine that eBay voluntarily exited the gun category. Since then there are a bunch of auction sites specifically for guns.

    By keeping one big market, it will be far easier for LV, Tiffany, and others to manage the counterfit & legit gray market. This is basically another example of an old company failing to understand online commerce.

Top Ten Things Overheard At The ANSI C Draft Committee Meetings: (2) Thank you for your generous donation, Mr. Wirth.

Working...