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Youtube videos copied and sold on ebay

Posted: Sun Aug 17, 2014 5:11 pm
by vagecumap
Hi. I am looking for some advice about someone copying my videos from youtube and selling them on ebay. A friend informed me that technical educational videos that I create and post on youtube were being sold on ebay. I checked and discovered that 52 of my videos had been copied from youtube and were being sold on ebay (digital download or dvd) by two sellers. I suspect the two sellers are actually one person. One of the sellers is a business seller so his name and address are listed on ebay. The theft of my videos is very obvious as they only include my voice and video records from my computer. I have the originals and youtube have the dated uploads. I have contacted ebay but they have been less than helpful. Some listings may have been removed but new ones replace them which ebay do not remove.
I have complained to ebay on 9 occasions and have emailed the seller pointing out that I own the copyright to the videos and that he cannot legally sell them. I have not had a reply. Any suggestions?

Posted: Sun Aug 17, 2014 7:02 pm
by AndyJ
Hi vagecumap,
You don't say if you are based in the UK, so I will assume you are, and also that the seller is in the UK.
Ebay are required to take down any listings which you inform them are infringing copies of your work or they will become liable for secondary infringement:
23 Secondary infringement: possessing or dealing with infringing copy.

The copyright in a work is infringed by a person who, without the licence of the copyright owner—
  • (a) possesses in the course of a business,

    (b) sells or lets for hire, or offers or exposes for sale or hire,

    (c) in the course of a business exhibits in public or distributes, or

    (d) distributes otherwise than in the course of a business to such an extent as to affect prejudicially the owner of the copyright,
an article which is, and which he knows or has reason to believe is, an infringing copy of the work.
However eBay will not be liable as long as it has no knowledge a specific article is infringing, due to a provision in Article 14 of the EU eCommerce Directive, so unfortunately you have to keep informing them of each new listing; they can't or won't apply a blanket ban on a product. This is because it is perfectly legal for someone to re-sell a product they legally own. So for instance if you were selling your videos on DVD, one of your customers could re-sell his copy on eBay quite legally. Ebay doesn't, and can't be expected to, know which products fall into this category.
Since this person appears to be trading as a business, your best bet is to contact your local trading standards office and make a formal complaint. They can if necessary commence legal proceedings against this person. This will save you the cost of bringing a civil action to stop them.

Posted: Tue Aug 19, 2014 9:10 am
by vagecumap
Hi Andy. Thanks for reply. Yes I am in UK. I constantly tell ebay about the listings but as they never reply even when using live chat or on the telephone, I never know if they are taking listings down. I have completed one of their vero forms as well. I know I can chase the seller, especially as he has a business address but I am at a loss as to how to get ebay to respond. All they ever do is say that they will deal with the matter but they never tell me what they will do. Ebay listings come and go so I have no idea if ebay are taking them down or they are running their course. I though ebay might deal with the seller if the same seller keeps relisting the same item, but so far that hasn't happened. The law seems a little grey about this because if I understand things correctly, infringing my copyright isn't a criminal offence but a business selling my videos for money is a criminal offence.