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Isn’t lovely to have a piece of good news every once in awhile? France may be the promised land of fashion and style, but surely isn’t the honey land of commerce!

I could get political on this one so I’ll just take on the day’s subject for me: eBay won against Tiffany in a lawsuit filed four years ago (Tiffany accused eBay of not having the legal responsibility to prevent counterfeit sales). The judge decided that it was not up to the site to play vigilante over Tiffany’s brand. (there’s a fragment from the judge’s decision after the jump)

eBay Tiffany

More – he decided that the commercials opportunities offered by eBay are submitted to any other commerce form law and regulations – counterfeit goods can penetrate every market in any way by any means. However, when I read this fragment of decision, it kinda poured honey on my eBay toast:

the law is clear: it is the trademark owner’s burden to police its mark and companies like eBay cannot be held liable for trademark infringement based solely on their general knowledge that trademark infringement might be occurring on their Web site.

I don’t know about you (but I’m sure you’ll tell me your feelings), but I think fighting against counterfeiting is a lost war even if a battle is won (and by that I mean even the French court ruling against eBay). It’s like they would have to eliminate craftsmanship from the face of the earth. As long as art exists, there will be imitators. As long as luxury goods remain luxury goods, coveted by everyone everywhere, there’s gonna be a way to deliver something similar at lower prices. How do you think this problem should be handled?
(via wwd)


#1 Adriana on 07.17.08 at 9:31 am

At first I think there’s not a problem with counterfeiting at all. And to explain this all I would to have to get very political and make provocative statements to some sensitive people and this will become a too long piece… ever…..
So I try to keep it short tho: the rich will do not buy stuff on eBay at all. And since the rich are getting richer and the poor gets poorer since a while faster and faster……I see no problems for this filthy rich companies at all to complain! I leave it to this…….

#2 Ellington on 07.17.08 at 11:09 am

I know that counterfeiting exists and so do most people.
Its like you said Kpriss as long as these really expensive and out of price range (for most people) goods exist there will be a market for those who make copies.
Its not up to eBay to police what is real or not real. They are simply the middle man or the medium used to sell goods. Tiffany’s, LV, and all the others are upset by the money they lose through the sale of the fakes.Which is understandable but they must factor that into their sales. I highly doubt that they are losing tonnes of money over these things. They still have the very rich who purchase their goods. Its not to say that it is right, the counterfeiting its just to say that it is. Besides most can tell the fakes from the real on close inspection.
I have even seen ads in fashion magazines cautioning people from buying the fakes as they support drug cartels and the like, but what of the people who actually make the luxury goods for them? Is it a sweatshop, and are they even paid a fraction of what they actually sell the luxury goods for? I don’t thinks so. Its a crime and a shame all around.

#3 kpriss on 07.18.08 at 6:37 am

The court appointed a specialist in commercial crime (if I may use the expression you inspired me, Ellington) and he said that if he had an internet commerce and should work his legal base, eBay standards would be the best to take in consideration and use in his business. This being said, I truly believe they considered almost everything over at eBay and indeed, the giants are just looking for a certain revenge, the power of an example – cast eBay and all counterfeiting shall be overpowered.

It’s not a fair world, as you say, the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. There will always be one rich to slave around dozens of poor people in the name of fashion or other.

I know for a fact (because I worked in this commercial jungle) that every brand factors loss. And big time. In every business there’s this risk, especially in the luxury arena where everything (and everything’s dog) is insured.

You just got me thinking now – is it maybe that instead of marketing their products in a traditional manner they’re trying a new way of advertisement – the lawsuit ads? Expensive, I give you that, but we’re talking years and years for one single campaign (this one counted 4 years). What do you think? Could it be so?

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