Ebay breathed a sigh of relief today when a Federal judge in Manhattan said that the company wasn’t responsible for sellers who had aped jeweler Tiffany & Co.’s trademarks on the auction site (PDF of decision).
The judge, cited the 1982 case Inwood Labs., Inc. v. Ives Labs., Inc., and said that eBay was only responsible for taking down specific offenses once a rightsholder alerted them.
Does this sound familiar? It should – it’s a rough parallel with the YouTube/Google-Viacom case, where YouTube/Google says it can’t possibly track down copyright violations on its site, but that it’s happy to take them down when notified. The difference: YouTube is specifically citing the Digital Millenium Copyright Act, which covers copyrights, not trademarks. Still, we assume that both sides are studying the case right now.
See Also: eBay To Europe: You Can’t Expect Us To Know Whose Auctions Violate Copyright!
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