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Copyright Basics Copyright Basics

How do you know if you're infringing someone's copyright, trademark or other rights
when you create your auction 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
UK). Not allowing these items on the site protects you from liability and helps make a safe place
for trading. Selling or buying any of these items could put you at risk for civil or criminal liability.
Your auction could be ended early and you may be suspended from.


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 the material 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 auction listings you generally should use only
material (text, photographs, etc.) and trademarks/names that you created or own yourself or
licensed from the owners.


No Unauthorized Linking to Photos! You cannot link to somebody else's picture (so it appears in
your auction) without the owner's permission.

What is a copyright?

A copyright is the protection given in the United States 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. Copyright laws may protect the text and photographs
, which you create and use in auction listings.

If you copy someone else's auction 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 auction through our Verified Rights
Owner (VeRO) Programme. Here are some examples of potentially infringing auctions:

  1. You scan a photograph of Elvis Presley (without permission) to use in an auction listing
    in which you are selling an authentic autograph of Elvis Presley
  2. You copy someone else's auction text and (without permission) paste it into your own
    auction 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.)
  3. You copy the URL of a photograph appearing on a golf club manufacturer's web site
    or another user's auction causing the photograph to appear in your auction (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 that bear the brand name of a company, which did not make the product.

Here are some examples of potentially infringing auctions:

  1. You prepare an auction listing to sell non-branded sunglasses,
    but you use the Rayban® trademark in your listing
  2. You are selling a non-Disney® stuffed animal,
    but use a picture of Mickey Mouse® in your listing
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