eBay Offers Sympathy
The lawsuit is seeking unspecified monetary compensation for Symantec and McAfee, Kupferschmid said. Catherine England, an eBay spokesperson, said the company "applauds the efforts of the SIIA" to protect software companies against copyright infringement, and "we encourage rights holders to work with us" to prevent infringing software items from being sold on the auction site.Currently eBay lists an average of about 89 million different items for sale on its site, and 6 million new items are added each day, she said. Despite this volume, eBay can usually respond within hours to remove an auction that violates its rules, she said. The company has worked closely with the software industry for a number of years to guard against software infringement and understands its motivations for bringing the suits, England said. "They need to be proactive to [protect] their rights, and we respect that," England said. However, England noted that eBays VeRO program provides "a pretty comprehensive" process for protecting rights holders and verifying the validity of products sold on eBay, "and it has served us well," she said. Click here to read about how eBay reacted when someone tried to use the auction site to sell the details about an Excel code execution flaw. "We feel that our verification goes above and beyond what the law would require us to do, and we do it because it is in the best interest" of the eBay community to provide that assurance, she said. The first suit was brought against Edward Comas of Bloomington, Calif., for allegedly selling pirated copies of McAfee anti-virus and security software. SIIA alleges that Comas completed more than 400 auctions on eBay, including many sales of other pirated software products. SIIA also filed two suits on behalf of Symantec, including copyright and trademark infringement charges against Grace Chan of San Jose, Calif., for allegedly selling pirated copies of Symantec products. The lawsuit claims that Chan completed more than 3,000 auctions on eBay including sales of pirated Symantec, Intuit and McAfee software packages. The second Symantec lawsuit was filed against Kevin Liu, Mary Tian and G.T. Tian for allegedly selling unauthorized copies of Norton pcAnywhere, Norton System Works and Norton Ghost. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest security news, reviews and analysis. And for insights on security coverage around the Web, take a look at eWEEK.com Security Center Editor Larry Seltzers Weblog.
Software manufacturers can file reports of items that may be infringing, "and we will remove them immediately," England said.