eBay Fined $61 Million

Even for an internet giant like eBay, a sixty one million dollar fine makes for a rough way to begin the week. A French court has ruled against eBay:

“A French court has fined eBay Inc. $61 million for allowing the sale of Louis Vuitton Malletier and Christian Dior Couture counterfeit goods on its Web site, the luxury goods company LVMH said today.”

link: eBay fined $61M in furor over fake goods

There are widespread implications for this ruling. In essence, the ruling places the responsibility of policing the internet transactions squarely upon eBay. If responsibility of these transactions fall upon eBay, what about the security issues that arise on other internet sites such as MySpace, Facebook, Craigslist and many others? Does “buyer beware” (caveat emptor) not apply to the internet? If this ruling stands on appeal, it simply gives precedent to endless litigation against some of the most heavily visited sites on the internet.

Catherine Forsythe