Ebay CopyRight

If you are worried about infringement or your work has been copied and you want to take action.
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Ebay CopyRight

Post by dereal2003 »


just curious,

I run a facebook group in my local town which over the years has become popular between members, from private buyers to sole traders, we had some nice admins who run the site very well, ban items such as animals and guns and for not,

however until 2 days ago , i had this email:

************************************************** ***********************************************


We removed or disabled access to the following content you posted on Facebook because a third party reported that the content violates their trademark rights:

Group: FaceBay Macclesfield (Buy&Sell)

If you believe this content shouldn't have been removed from Facebook, you can contact the complaining party directly to resolve your issue:

Report no.: 1265816896932642
Rights owner: eBay Inc.
Email: alfred.ics@ebay.com
Trademark: EBAY

If an agreement is reached to restore the reported content, please have the complaining party email us with their consent and include the report number. Alternatively, if you believe the content should not have been removed and wish to contact Facebook, you can contact us by filling in this form:

************************************************** ****************************************

At first i thought it was some content inside the group, but no they have removed the group, So must be the name? surely a name with Bay init is not Copyright?
i have email Facebook and awaiting there reply and ebay, if they will ever respond, who knows, just curious how a firm can be so petty, shame as we had over 15,000 members and done quite alot of the years for awareness of the town and supported charity events,


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Re: Ebay CopyRight

Post by AndyJ »

Hi Simon,

Names rarely attract copyright because they are seen as facts. That said, using the multi-coloured eBay logo Image
might amount to copyright infringement* as it would be classed as an artistic work. However according to the notification you received, this is all about trade mark rights.

You are right that having the word 'bay' in the title of your Facebook group doesn't automatically mean that you have infringed any of eBay's trade marks, but because most take down notices are sent out by automated systems rather than humans many such notices can be illogical and invalid because the algorithms which drive them are faulty. Furthermore if your group was merely a consumer forum, you would not have violated any trade marks because that can only occur 'in the course of trade'. Quite often big companies will use the DMCA takedown system not only to remove infringing material but also as a means of censoring content they don't like. Thus if any of your members had posted disparaging reviews of either eBay itself, or some traders who sell via eBay, then this may have been enough to cause the notice to be issued.

However, from your description it sounds as if the group was actually facilitating trading between the members, and that would constitute being in the course of trade.

This then becomes a straightforward issue about whether your use of the word 'bay' is sufficiently similar to the trade mark ebay to amount to infringement under section 10(2) of the Trade Marks Act 1994, or perhaps more broadly under the common law tort of passing off. Since 'Facebay' contains all of the actual letters of the word 'ebay', albeit it is not pronounced in the same way, I think that eBay Inc may have good grounds for their objection. Sadly the altruisic nature of your group will not have any bearing on whether or not there has been infringement. Assuming that eBay do not withdraw their objection and since I assume that you aren't in a position to take them on in the courts, which would be the next logical step, I think a change of name for the group would be the best way forward.

*The image is used here under the fair dealing exception contained in section 30 of the Copyright Designs and Patents Act for the purposes of review. Ebay Inc's copyrght is fully acknowledged. The author of the logo is Lippincott Studio/Adrian Frutiger
Advice or comment provided here is not and does not purport to be legal advice as defined by s.12 of Legal Services Act 2007
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