Sunday, October 17, 2010

EBAY - Recall This!

EBay and PayPal profit mightily from copyright infringement, and so do pirates.

I wonder why EBay has never yet (that I've heard about) issued a RECALL of illegally sold
CDs at their own expense.

When Amazon mistakenly distributed copyright infringing copies of George Orwell's works
on the Kindle, Amazon "recalled" the works. Sort of.

The difference was, they did not require any customers to mail CDs back to them.

Where would be the point? one might wonder, in publishers demanding that EBay recall bootlegged CDs.
The customers could easily transfer the copyright-infringing e-books onto their desktops before returning the offending CDs to EBay.

However, some would be angry. Some would be embarrassed to discover that they had been identified as purchasers of stolen property. Some, who might have been contemplating "sharing" these works might understand that copyright still means something, and that these works at least are in-copyright.

EBay might be more careful in future. Right now, EBay and its subsidiary PayPal are responsible for making copyright infringement and piracy profitable.

Here's an example.

Miss Pixy (not her real name) takes two series of ebooks by an author and burns them onto CDs, which she sells for $10 each. EBay allows her to sell 10 copies of each $10 CD per auction.

Miss Pixy could make $100 (less PayPal and EBay fees, and maybe less $2.00 shipping and handling which she might or might not charge the customer) for each auction, if she sold all of them. She could have an auction every week of the year. It seems to me, she could make thousands, even tens of thousands of dollars and not pay the author a cent.

Let's remember, real people are paying real money to purchase these CDs. These are lost sales.

I sometimes wonder if victimized publishers and authors know how easily the customers could be tracked. PayPal has a record of all of them: email, mailing address, real name, credit card or bank account number.

Moreover, who purchased what is a matter of public record if they left "Feedback" for the vendor on their EBay profile page. Any publisher's legal department could easily identify who bought what.

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