4 min article

Public domain media policy

To protect rights' owners, we don't allow the unauthorized sale of media such as music, movies, literature, or photos. However, media items that are no longer protected by copyright – sometimes described as having entered the public domain – can be sold on eBay.

If you want to sell a media item that you believe is no longer protected by copyright, please double check that the item has entered the public domain before completing your listing or product. You can find out more about public domain media and copyright law from the U.S. Copyright Office website - opens in new window or tab.

Frequently Asked Questions

 

What if I want to list a media item that is still protected by copyright?

If you're trying to resell media items such as books, dvds, or movies that were initially distributed legally and in accordance with copyright laws, that's ok.

But selling copyrighted items without authorization from the owner violates our policies. This includes bootlegged and unauthorized copies of media.

How do I report an item that's still protected by copyright?

If you see an item listed on eBay that hasn't entered the public domain and that is still protected by copyright, please contact us to report it.

Read our full policy

Public domain media policy overview

Before you sell any media such as music, movies, literature, or photos, you're responsible for finding out if the media you're planning to sell is protected by a copyright. If it is, follow the guidelines in our intellectual property and VeRO program policy.

Any media that are no longer protected by copyright are sometimes described as having entered the public domain. To find out more about public domain media, see the U.S. Copyright Office website - opens in new window or tab.

If you describe the content offered in your eBay listing or product as having entered the public domain, make sure you meet both of these requirements:

  • You've confirmed that the content is in fact in the public domain
  • For compilations ebooks and audio books, you list all titles included in the listing and product

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

If you see listings that offer unauthorized copies of media, please report it to us.

 

Why does eBay have this policy?


Selling copyrighted items without authorization from the owner, its agent, or the law is illegal and violates our policies. Our goal is to help protect buyers from purchasing unauthorized, copyrighted items, as well as to protect the intellectual property of the rights holders. If you're not sure about the legality of your item, don't sell it on eBay. Be sure to follow all laws and regulations before listing your items.

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