selling pictures on ebay

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  • I amhelping a friend dispose of his collection of Press release/studio/publicity shots of stars by selling them on Ebay. recently Ebay closed me down stating someone had accused me of copyright violation. The photos are all originals as recieved from the issuing sources. Have I done something wrong? Is there any way to dispose of these without burning them? :?:
  • I am not a lawyer, this isn't legal advice. Going on:

    eBay isn't necessarily very specific about why it took down a particular item. I would guess there is a good chance that a) you're not violating copyright, as selling legitimately acquired materials is generally allowed by the doctrine of first sale, but b) you may have problems with rights of publicity. Look at eBay's policy:
    However, the rights of publicity are not all encompassing, either, so it may be something you want to take up with the rights holder and eBay. eBay should have given you contact information for the rights holder so you can inquire why they believe your sale was infringing. eBay is obligated to take down the item if the rights holder contacts them and asks to take down material they believe is infringing. The rights holder may or may not be correct, but eBay would need to anyway. You need to find out why they believe your use is infringing.
  • Thanks, I have tried to contact the complaintant but they have ignored me sofar. Sounds like I don't have any recourse as long as they ignore me. Any suggestions as to what I should ask them?
  • They can continue to ignore you- they don't have an obligation to answer your questions. Ebay, however, does. Contact information for e-Bay is on this page:

    I'd contact them and tell them that the rights holder did not respond to your messages.

    Again, not legal advice, but that's what I would do.
  • Thanks again. Ebay has reinstated me. I have several thousand pictures of several hundred stars to dispose of. If I get kicked off very often, it will seriously obstruct my business. So far I have sold a couple hundred pictures with only the one complaint. Any ideas as to how to avoid the problem in the future? The original collector ammased his pictures over a period of thirty years or so.
  • Perhaps in the place where you describe what is for sale you can state how the photos were obtained. That may head off other problems. Good Luck!

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