Thursday, March 30, 2006

ebay fraud: do not buy Parma Endorion

Once again, eBay is allowing someone to run fraudulent sales listings for Parma Endorion: Essays on Middle-earth, 3rd Edition. Once again, I have reported the fraud to eBay. I fully expect them to reply with the usual, "We at eBay take your intellectual property rights seriously. Just fill out this unscrupulously long 4-page DMCA form and we'll investigate the listing" (as soon as they get around to it). The present listing expires in less than 4 days, and so far no one seems to have bid on it.

The real issue, however, is not that my (and Rich Sullivan's and Anke Eissmann's) intellectual property rights have been violated. The real issue is that the sales are fraudulent. The first time I reported such a sale to eBay, they replied by saying, "Well, anyone who buys an eBook has the right to resell it." True. The problem is, these thieves aren't buying the book. There is nowhere in the world where you can legally buy Parma Endorion. I haven't authorized anyone to sell copies, and my word has the force of law behind it.

eBay continually drags its feet and acts stupid whenever I report these fraudulent sales. Maybe they just haven't trained their operators correctly to read basic English. It doesn't seem to matter how much depth and detail I go into with respect to the fraudulent nature of the sales, the eBay responders always send a copy of their incredibly long and infuriating 4-page DMCA form.

I do not fill out DMCA forms. There are too many places on the Net where my material has been improperly used for me to be filling out DMCA forms. Most companies comply with my requests to have illegal materials removed from their sites within a reasonable time (usually within 24 hours). Even Google, who made me jump through some legal hoops, complied with my request to remove illegal material.

In my opinion, eBay are the biggest fraudulent crooks on the Internet. They know they'll get their money if they leave the listings online long enough. If they want to sue me for libel, let them show up in court with documents showing that they have made every reasonable effort to take down the fraudulent sales of Parma Endorion when notified. They have never acted on a notification to my knowledge.

Their continued insistence that I fill out a DMCA form in order to put a stop to fraudulent sales underscores just how much they are willing to tolerate obviously illegal activity.

Fraud is clearly defined in American legal literature:
All multifarious means which human ingenuity can devise, and which are resorted to by one individual to get an advantage over another by false suggestions or suppression of the truth. It includes all surprises, tricks, cunning or dissembling, and any unfair way which another is cheated.

Source: Black’s Law Dictionary, 5th ed., by Henry Campbell Black, West Publishing Co., St. Paul, Minnesota, 1979.

I am pretty sure that if eBay's corporate counsel is ever advised of these sales, they'll say, "The dude is right. These sellers are suppressing the truth" (that is, they fail to disclose to potential buyers that they have neither been authorized to sell copies of the book -- as no one has been so authorized -- nor have they paid for it). Furthermore, the failure to disclose the fact that the book is freely available for download is obviously intended to mislead people into believing that the eBook is available for sale and resale when in fact it is not.

If eBay wants to come after me for pointing out that they have been advised repeatedly that these sales are fraudulent, let them.

If eBay wants to come after me for pointing out that they have no legal basis on which to stand if they want to argue that they were unaware of these fraudulent sales, let them.

Until such time as eBay properly acknowledges that I have been reporting fraud and not simply violations of intellectual property rights, I will continue to share my opinion of them, that they are the biggest fraudulent crooks on the Internet. They are willing, knowing abettors in fraudulent activity.

Let them prove otherwise.

Better yet, let them put a stop to these fraudulent sales. It's not like they haven't been advised on several occasions over the past few years.

If you want a copy of Parma Endorion, download Parma Endorion for free.


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