Wednesday, December 08, 2004

WHO CALLED FOR THE PULL?: Nobody seems entirely sure who demanded Ebay pull the Negativland/U2 iPod from sale - and there's not actually any real legal basis for the sale to have been stopped. Unless - as is just about possible - Negativland made a complaint about their pictures being copied for the modified box nobody would appear to have had any grounds to demand the item be yanked: the U2 iPod was being resold, as is the owner's right; the Negativland CDs were included in the sale (and hence they were "licensed"). Curious, isn't it?


Anonymous said...

I doubt Negativland would ever accuse anyone of copyright infringement. Most of their art uses or is based on appropriated material. Besides, have you ever tried to report another Ebay user? It's impossible. I think Ebay got cold feet and yanked it before anyone asked them to.

simon h b said...

I'm sure you're right - it doesn't sound like a very Negativland line of action (although let's not forget that the major labels constantly harass samplers while releasing records featuring uncleared samples: though I'm not suggesting Negativland would be that stupid and inconsistent)

But I still reckon Apple leaned on them. Or maybe Island.

Anonymous said...


It's compliant with eBay's VeRO Program, which is essentially a way of fast-track kow-towing to corporate interests, so that they can have things they don't like removed.

Here's the email the eBay user received:

Subject: VeRO NOTICE: eBay Listing(s)
Removed - VeRO Program
Date: December 6, 2004 4:35:50 PM EST

Dear Francis Hwang (,


We would like to let you know that we removed
your listing:

2290680118 Unauthorized iPod U2 vs. Negativland
Special Edition

because an intellectual property rights owner
notified us, under penalty of perjury, that your
listing infringes the rights owner's copyright,
trademark, or other rights.

We have credited any associated fees to your account.
We have also notified the bidders that the listing(s)
was removed, and that they are not obligated to
complete the transaction.

If you relist this or any other similar items on eBay,
your account likely will be suspended.

If you believe your listing was ended in error, or have
questions regarding the removal of this listing, please
contact the intellectual property rights owner directly

Apple Computer, Inc.

eBay is available to answer questions, but since it is
the intellectual property rights owner that requested
the removal of your listings, we encourage you to contact
them first.

For more information on the VeRO Program, and a list of
rights owner About Me pages, please visit:

Thank you for your cooperation.


Customer Support (Trust and Safety Department)
eBay Inc
Apple are really pushing it again. None of this protection has anything to do with the value of the iPod trademark. It's annoying that the effective criminalisation of modding and re-selling is still a bit of a geek-interest story. It's really so scary.

--Alan Connor#

simon h b said...

If Apple really have a beef with this, then surely they should demand all iPods be removed from Ebay straightaway?

eBay Selling said...

ebay selling - More time: You will learn to put your entire business on "Autopilot"! The result will be more time with your family, more time with your friends, more vacations and more FUN!

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