How do you know if you're infringing someone's copyright, trademark or other rights when you create your item listings? To find out, look at the guidelines listed below. This list will help you determine if your item is infringing (violating copyright law) or prohibited (not allowed on eBay Australia). Not allowing these items on the site protects you from liability and helps make eBay a safe place for trading. Selling or buying any of these items could put you at risk for civil or criminal liability. Your listing could be ended early and you may be suspended from eBay.
Contrary to popular belief, the fact that material is posted on the world wide web does not mean it is in the "public domain" or otherwise free to be taken, copied or used by others.Creators of web content probably have copyright, trademark and other rights in thematerial they create. Copying, modifying and possibly linking to content created by others could expose you to legal liability.
No Copying Allowed! When you prepare your listings you generally should use only material (text, photographs, etc.) and trademarks/names that you created or own yourself, or have licensed from the owners.
No Unauthorised Linking to Photos! You cannot link to somebody else's picture (so it appears in your listing) without the owner's permission.
What is a copyright?
A copyright is the protection given throughout the world to certain original works of authorship, including text, pictures, music, etc. The owner of a copyright holds the exclusive right to duplicate, distribute and create derivative works from his work. Auction listings often contain text, photographs and the names/trademarks of companies. The text and photographs which you create and use in item listings may be protected by copyright laws.
If you copy someone else's text or original photograph, or copy text or photographs from any other place (depending upon how much is copied), you may be infringing someone's copyright. They may be able to request the ending of your item listing through our Verified Rights Owner (VeRO) Program.
Here are some examples of potentially infringing listings:
You scan a photograph of Elvis Presley (without permission) to use in a listing in which you are selling an authentic autograph of Elvis Presley
You copy someone else's text and (without permission) paste it into your own listing to sell the same item (Making slight modifications to the text may not relieve you of liability if it is substantially similar to the original text.)
You copy the URL of a photograph appearing on a golf club manufacturer's web site or another member's listing causing the photograph to appear in your listing (without permission).
What is a trademark?
A trademark is a name or logo used by a company (or person) to identify its goods or services.
No Confusing Listings! If you are selling a brand name product, you can probably show a picture of the product and refer to the company by name, but you cannot do so in such a way that it suggests that your auction is approved, sponsored or endorsed by the manufacturer. Also, you must be careful not to sell products which bear the brand name of a company which did not make the product.
Here are some examples of potentially infringing item listings:
You prepare a listing to sell non-branded sunglasses, but you use the Rayban® trademark in your listing
You are selling a non-Disney® stuffed animal, but use a picture of Mickey Mouse® in your listing
How to protect your copyrighted descriptions and images which you have previously used on eBay.
Occasionally, you may find that your image or description text has been used by another seller in their listing. To report the unauthorised use of your copyrighted images or text to eBay, go to our Contact Rules & Safety web form and click on: "Questionable Content on eBay", then "Unauthorised use of image, text, or links", and then "Use of Pictures, Text, or Links without permission" (webform to be enhanced accordingly). You will be provided with an email form, where you can enter the offending item number in the item number box. Be sure to include an item number of one of your listings containing your copyrighted material in the body of the email to us. Please also explain exactly how your rights have been violated. Remember that you can only report images that you own the copyright to, such as pictures you took yourself. If you obtained the images from the internet, you likely do not have any rights in them.
For more information about copyrights and trademarks:
Reporting prohibited, questionable & infringing items to eBay: