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Copyrights, Trademarks & your Listing

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.

eBay Guideline:

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.

eBay Guideline:

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.

eBay Guideline:

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.

eBay Guideline:

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

Learn more about how eBay protects intellectual property rights.

For more information about copyrights and trademarks:

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