5 min article

Encouraging infringement policy

To protect all our members – as well as copyright and trademark owners – we don’t allow sellers to use eBay to encourage or enable illegal activities, such as the copying or modifying of products, in a way that would infringe copyrights, trademarks, or other rights.

Even if a seller is completing an entirely legal transaction, they can't then encourage the use of their product in a way that would be illegal. For example, by selling a Rolex watch box as a means of enabling the sale of fake Rolex watches. Please see our full policy guidelines below for more details of our restrictions on these types of behavior.

Frequently Asked Questions


Can I sell original software?

Yes, you're allowed to sell original software. However, in your listings and products you can't suggest to buyers that they make backup copies, and then resell your original.

Where can I learn more about copyright laws?

You can check out the resources from the International Trademark Association, U.S. Copyright Office, and U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for more information on trademarks, copyrights, and intellectual property.

Read our full policy

Encouraging infringement policy overview

For a safer buying and selling experience on eBay, sellers can't use eBay to enable, encourage, or instruct others to infringe copyrights, trademarks, or other rights.

In the guidelines below we've provided a few examples of items that can't be listed on eBay and activities that sellers should avoid.

Make sure your listings and products follows these guidelines. If they don't, they may be removed, and you may be subject to a range of other actions, including restrictions of your buying and selling privileges and suspension of your account.

What are the guidelines?

Here are just a few examples of items and activities that aren't allowed on eBay:

Not allowed Not allowed
  • Activities such as:
    • Offering to sell original software and encouraging the bidder or buyer to make a backup copy and resell the original
    • Offering to sell a box for an authentic product (such as a box for a Rolex watch) and suggesting to potential buyers that they can then use it to sell a counterfeit item (see also our policy on replicas, counterfeit items, and unauthorized copies policy)
  • eBooks describing how to remove copy protection in order to copy content onto CDs, DVDs, or other discs (see also our policy on recordable media and our policy on enabling duplication of copy-protected material)
  • Instructions on how to install a modification chip (sometimes called a modchip) in a video game console
  • Links to websites where buyers can download:
  • Any software or device (sold separately or already installed on a product) whose purpose is to circumvent copyright protections, such as:
    • Certain modchips, game enhancers, boot discs or video game converters
    • Instructions on how to install a modification chip (modchip) or similar device in a video game console

Additional information

There are various laws protecting copyrights, intellectual property, patents, and trademarks. Visit the following websites to learn more about the laws:

Why does eBay have this policy?

This policy helps create a safer marketplace by prohibiting sellers from using eBay to encourage others to infringe on the intellectual property rights of third parties. eBay policy requires sellers and buyers to comply with all governmental laws and regulations.

Was this article helpful for you?