The Buzz: January 29, 2001 is requiring its auction sellers to offer the company's proprietary payment service to bidders. Changes Rules is requiring its auction sellers to offer the companys proprietary payment service to bidders.

Previously, the Amazon Payments service was available only to sellers themselves. Now, sellers will be required to offer the service—along with other payment methods such as checks and money orders—to bidders. The move, in effect, closes out sellers who live outside the United States. The use of Payments is available only to sellers with U.S. bank accounts.

In another move, Amazon began charging sellers who use Payments an additional completion fee.

Company officials said customer requests for the payment efficiency that Amazon Payments represents fueled the moves. Sellers, however, have complained that Amazon auctions are struggling enough without the additional requirements.

Virage Plays Ball in 2001

Professional baseball is getting into the streaming media arena.

Major League Baseball Advanced Media, a separate business entity owned jointly by the 30 major league teams, last week inked a multimillion-dollar deal with Virage to buy the tools to provide streaming media to the teams Web audience for the 2001 season.

Virage will provide the baseball company with the software and application services necessary to deliver searchable and interactive streaming media highlights of the approximately 2,500 games that will be played this year.

Major League Baseball Advanced Media holds the Web rights to those games.

Group Sues for Theft

The software and information Industry Association, representing three software companies, is suing two people for allegedly selling illegally copied software titles through online auctions.

The association plans to file more lawsuits this week, according to officials.

The association—on behalf of Adobe Systems, Alias/ Wavefront and Macromedia—last week filed suit in U.S. District Court against the individuals.