Tuesday, February 27, 2007

J.K. Rowling Suing Ebay over Pirated Harry Potter Books

The Times Online
Jack Malvern

In fiction his enemies are evil wizards and magical beasts, but Harry Potter’s latest adversary is a real corporation with a turnover of more than £2 billion.

J. K. Rowling, Harry’s creator, is suing the online auction hosting service eBay after unscrupulous sellers used the Indian version of the website to sell unauthorised versions of her books.

Rowling is not the first person to sue the website for breach of copyright, but she has won a unique victory by obtaining an injunction that prohibits eBay from listing illegal copies of her work. The court order is a setback for eBay because it is the first time the company has been obliged to police its sellers’ auctions for copyrighted material.

Ebay, which is also fighting similar complaints by Tiffany in New York and Christian Dior Couture in Paris, denies that it is responsible for the auctions its users conduct on its website, and claims that it is impractical for it to vet every sale.

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