eBay user selling plagiarised articles
February 21, 2008 2:13 PM   Subscribe

Someone is selling my articles on eBay.

I operate a web site, writing and publishing original how-to articles. An eBay buyer has alerted me to a seller who sold him one of my articles, which solves a pretty popular problem. I am planning to report the current auctions to VeRO.

That said, I am not satisfied with shutting own individual auctions. By looking through the seller's auction history, it is obvious he created the account for the sole purchase of selling plagiarized articles. He also has other similar auctions that are not on topics I have written, so I am sure he is plagiarizing others as well. His account should be closed. Also, I think everyone who has done business with this seller should open a dispute and ask for a refund. Should I contact all of the people that have been taken advantage of? What else can I do?

It has also occurred to me that since these articles are part of my livelihood, this seller has interfered with my ability to do business. I'm not sure what to do about that right now though, since at that point I am probably stepping into lawyer land.
posted by tomorama to Computers & Internet (7 answers total)
Is the seller located in the same country as you?
posted by astrochimp at 2:19 PM on February 21, 2008

I had an article published in a national magazine (small specialized journal) about 7 years ago, and I have found that article for sale on Amazon.com among other places. I found it by googling my own name. I have contacted Amazon.com and told them they are not authorized to resell it and I have gotten nowhere. Amazon is not the only outlet selling it. I don't have a copy of my original contract--perhaps there was something buried in the fine print about reprint rights reverting back to the magazine or something. Anyway, it is very difficult to pursue it but I wish you luck.
posted by 45moore45 at 2:47 PM on February 21, 2008

Response by poster: astrochimp no, the seller is in Canada and I am in the United States.
posted by tomorama at 2:58 PM on February 21, 2008

sounds like a DMCA takedown notice would get someone's attention right quick.
posted by jenkinsEar at 3:03 PM on February 21, 2008

Fight fire with fire too, if you're not selling on eBay like he is, you could be missing sales through that avenue.

But I'd try to get his taken down too, otherwise additional people selling the same thing may just legitimize it.

A lawyer might be a good idea too.
posted by so_ at 4:23 PM on February 21, 2008

Lawyer up. I'm not a generally a proponent of revenge via lawsuit, but in this case I think it might be worth pursuing.
posted by desuetude at 5:22 PM on February 21, 2008


How much is it worth to you/how much do you want to spend to go after him?

I would buy one from him, then once you get it sue him and subpoena eBay and the payment method to get all the info you need. They will take much stronger action in response to a subpoena. If you are handy, you could do it yourself in small claims court, but there are a lot of little issues you would have to figure out and a few pitfalls. There will also be jurisdiction issues. You should probably find a lawyer, get a brief consultation, and set a budget and and understanding of what the lawyer is going to do for you. Then I would go after him. You might just be wasting a few hundred bucks to go after this guy if you can't recover anything, but maybe you would get lucky and there would be some real assets to get. Even if the seller hasn't made much money selling your stuff, you may be entitled to something significant depending on the situation and details.

Good luck.
posted by iknowizbirfmark at 7:47 PM on February 21, 2008

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