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Early in the 2000's eBay actually verified that the individual claiming rights was the rights holder. Now anyone with a fax machine and a willingness to lie can shut down compeititor auctions.
VeRO stands for Verified Rights owner. eBay has a program by which rights holders can stop the sale of infringing items.
To often VeRO is used to control the secondary market by companies who do not wish their items sold on eBay. Companies such as Shure,Bose,often Jabra
If you are shut down by a VeRO member do not "guess" as to what you may have done wrong and relist your item. You can be shut down again and suspended. The first step is to contact the VeRO member and simply ask why you were shut down. Make sure you are in the right, be sure of the products you are selling. If you bought a Louie V purse for $25 and try to sell it on eBay as authentic you will get shut down, and you should.
Start an email folder and keep all correspondence with the VeRO member. Keep it professional. You never know when it will become a matter of record.
If however you are selling legit merchandise the you can afford to get in the VeRO members face. When they shut down your auction they use provisions of the DMCA. Ask the VeRO member if they know the penalties for misrepresentation under 17 U.S.C. 512(f)
You have the option of filing a counternotice if you can pry it out of eBays hands. That is tough, eBay doesn't seem to want to get involved in the counternotice process. If the VeRO member claims trademark issues eBay will refuse to forward the counternotice at all. eBay will ask for proof of your identity when filing the counternotice. You don't need to provide this. The DMCA does not require this nor does eBay bother to actually even "verify" the rights holder.
Never threaten the VeRO member with a lawsuit, that is all they need to take you into court. If however they threaten you, that's all you need. The counternotice establishes jurisdication where you live, they have to come to you. I've been the reason that many lawyers have enjoyed an all expense paid trip to the wonderful state of Colorado.
Remember that eBay keeps score, you may decide it's not worthwhile to fight the first VeRO takedown, or even the second. But then when you are suspended for the third then you have a problem. A lot of VeRO members are not used to people questioning them and getting in their face. Often they will back down and retract the takedown. That is important, make sure they copy you into the email to eBay.
Remember two important federal doctrines:
First Sale Doctrine - once the owner of a copyright item places the item in the stream of commerce by selling it he loses his exclusive statutory right to control it's distribution. (copyright law)
Fair Use Doctine - you can use the trademarked name of the item you are selling - ie: you can use Coke if you are selling a coke item. (trademark law)
You can fight back, I've had contact with quite a few sellers who have fought back and gotten their records cleared, you can also.
Here is a perfect example ...
You recently listed the following Fixed Price listing:
130201577583 - MAGICJACK MAGIC JACK VoIP PC FREE CALLING USA CANADA
The listing was removed because it violated eBay policy. We notified members who placed bids on the item that the listing has been canceled.
The rights owner, MagicJack, LP, notified eBay that this listing violates intellectual property rights. When eBay receives a report of this type of violation, we remove the listing to comply with the law.
Members are not permitted to use another member's listing's text or images without that member's permission. Using another member's listing's image or item description may violate copyright laws. Text and images used as part of another website may be protected by copyright law. Therefore, you should not copy and use text and images from another website without obtaining permission to use that content. We encourage members to write their own item descriptions and take their own photographs.
To take the intellectual property tutorial, please visit:
Please be aware that any additional violations of this policy may result in the suspension of your account. eBay understands that you may be concerned about this situation.We encourage you to contact MagicJack, LP directly if you have any questions.
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