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Tue Aug 11 2009 18:48:10

Clarification on eBay Photo Policy with Product Catalog

By: Ina Steiner

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There's been a lot of concern about eBays new policy on using seller photos in its Product Catalog. There were two main concerns, and I asked eBay spokesperson John Pluhowski for clarification.

Q: Can sellers use catalog images in listings?

A: The seller who contributes an image that is used in the catalog can use it in their own listing. However, another seller cannot use the CGI catalog image for their listing, they must provide an image that is their own. The CGI catalog images will used by eBay only on the product display pages.

Q: Why is it an opt-out program?

A: This program seeks the very best photography from eBay sellers and we are casting the net as wide as possible. Anyone can opt out of the program, but for sellers we see nothing but upside to participating in the program.





Comments (24) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Clarification on eBay Photo Policy with Product Catalog   Clarification on eBay Photo Policy with Product Catalog

by: Harriet

Tue Aug 11 19:08:35 2009

Several valid concerns have been discussed by many of us in the other article. Perhaps John would like to read them and make comments.

Oh wait, no one from eBay probably reads here. People who post here are just "little people", no account, unwashed "noise".

Clarification on eBay Photo Policy with Product Catalog   Clarification on eBay Photo Policy with Product Catalog

by: John

Tue Aug 11 19:30:03 2009

His answers are so disingenuos it makes me mad. The real reason that they are using an opt out program because its easier to confuse sellers to submit their images.

Clarification on eBay Photo Policy with Product Catalog   Clarification on eBay Photo Policy with Product Catalog

by: On Lies and Secrets

Tue Aug 11 19:32:09 2009

Why doesn't the ebay corporation purchase the rights to images created by the manufacturer of the products?  These are the images that the manufacturers stand behind as being representative of the item they produced.

How can the ebay corporation be certain that the image they are appropriating from a user is of an authentic item if no one from the ebay corporation has touched or authenticated the physical item in the photograph?

How can individuals who look at an image in an ebay catalog be certain that it is of an authentic product and not a fake?  

IMO, ebay management is avoiding serious questions in the consumer interest.  There has been a longstanding issue with consumers buying fake goods from ebay.  IMO, using images not produced or approved by the manufacturer/brand owner to represent what an item looks like will serve to further undermine the integrity of the site.

Clarification on eBay Photo Policy with Product Catalog   Clarification on eBay Photo Policy with Product Catalog

by: I H8 ebay

Tue Aug 11 19:57:33 2009

The one & only time I had a problem buying on Ebay was from a seller using a stock photo from Best Buy, as I discovered after he sent a non working piece of junk.

PS Paypal would not refund me either, had to go thru my credit card.

Clarification on eBay Photo Policy with Product Catalog   Clarification on eBay Photo Policy with Product Catalog

by: Harriet

Tue Aug 11 19:58:34 2009

WOW! That is an excellent point!

Clarification on eBay Photo Policy with Product Catalog   Clarification on eBay Photo Policy with Product Catalog

by: ebay= penny stock

Tue Aug 11 20:44:32 2009

The last time someone from ebay told me there was a lot of upside for a seller I couldn't sit for a week.

Ebay sure does blow a lot of hot air!!!!

Clarification on eBay Photo Policy with Product Catalog   Clarification on eBay Photo Policy with Product Catalog

by: Buck Efay

Tue Aug 11 20:54:04 2009

There's so much disinformation & conflicting answers on this, that I wouldn't believe a word Ebay says about it. Wow, big woop, a link to an ebay myworld page, hoopty doo! Tell ya what Ebay, you remove Best Match as search, and I'll mail you 50 discs of the greatest collectibles studio images. Oh yeah, that's right, only the OLD Ebay wants collectibles, the new Ebay is all about mass produced Chinese junk, refurbished dregs & closeouts.

OT slightly, Warner Brothers is suing a consolidator in California for selling 2-3 million discs they were contracted to destroy. Mostly to one giant operation. They are trying to reciover all the discs. Wouldn't it be poetic if it turned out to be one of GreedyBays Doggy Diamonds?

Clarification on eBay Photo Policy with Product Catalog   Clarification on eBay Photo Policy with Product Catalog

by: On Lies and Secrets

Tue Aug 11 22:16:49 2009

''The one & only time I had a problem buying on Ebay was from a seller using a stock photo from Best Buy, as I discovered after he sent a non working piece of junk.''

IMO, this is a tangent if it is related to the use of stock photos on an ebay catalog page.  The ebay catalog pages are ''generic'' and they are not supposed to represent the goods of any specific seller.

IMO, a ''generic'' ebay page should use a safe, authentic image provided by the manufacturer or brand owner and not something picked out of the ether by a clueless ebay employee who cannot tell whether an item is authentic or not on the basis of a photo.  

Sellers can be hurt by the practice of ebay using pictures that the manufacturer has not authenticated as genuine depictions.  Take the example of a rolex brand watch.  An offshore import company who sells on ebay  lists a fake rolex with a great picture.  The clueless ebay employee chooses this ''great picture'' to represent that particular style of a rolex watch without verifying from the maker that it is an authentic item.  A buyer sees the photo on ebay's generic page and thinks any watch that looks like the ''great picture'' is authentic (but it's not).  A seller of a genuine rolex watch who sells to this buyer gets in trouble because the buyer thinks the seller's real watch is a fake based on an unauthenticated photo on ebay's ''generic'' page.

The potential for consumers to be mislead is too high if the ebay corporation picks ''great pictures'' without making certain that the item depicted is genuine and that the manufacturer will stand behind it as representative of the physical item.  The easiest way for the ebay corporation to handle this is to get photos from the manufacturer which the manufacturer will stand behind as authentic.

Clarification on eBay Photo Policy with Product Catalog   Clarification on eBay Photo Policy with Product Catalog

by: fruity

Tue Aug 11 23:19:32 2009

I don't understand why you think asking them a direct question gets resolve. Its a fundamental communication flaw.

You should of just asked, if sellers delete their accounts to the images go with them or do you keep them for your use on ANY EBAY PROGRAM. period

WTH, sometimes I think you are working against us

Clarification on eBay Photo Policy with Product Catalog   Clarification on eBay Photo Policy with Product Catalog

by: I H8 ebay

Tue Aug 11 23:22:52 2009

@On Lies and Secrets:
Undoubtedly, it was a tangent, but it goes to show, even with Ebay's so called policy forbidding the use of stock images at the time(2005), and even with proof of the fraud sent to Ebay & Paypal with a link to Best Buy catalog, they still would not back me up as a buyer. And the seller had just gotten a bunch of stinky feedback for items not as described the week before this happened, and after I paid, unfortunately. Do you not agree this will happen more with hundreds of easily obtainable images cataloged by Ebay? I have also had several sellers steal my pics & descriptions in the past, and Ebay did nothing until I learned and sent Vero notices, so I'm guessing this will be handled the same way.

Clarification on eBay Photo Policy with Product Catalog   Clarification on eBay Photo Policy with Product Catalog

by: Tim Walter

Wed Aug 12 03:02:51 2009

"for sellers we see nothing but upside".  eBay never sees ANYTHING but upside for sellers.  And it has been an whole lot of downside the last 3 years or more.

I don't trust these guys any farther than I can throw them - the whole lot of them.  They would not know what is "upside" for sellers if it hit them between the eye.  A bunch of 20-something MBAs who have never had to sell anything to make a living - much less sell on eBay!

Clarification on eBay Photo Policy with Product Catalog   Clarification on eBay Photo Policy with Product Catalog

by: Lisa

Wed Aug 12 10:08:15 2009

I think the use of the words "clarification" and "eBay" in the same sentence constitutes an oxymoron.

Clarification on eBay Photo Policy with Product Catalog   Clarification on eBay Photo Policy with Product Catalog

by: Jay

Wed Aug 12 23:29:34 2009

Here is an angle I have not noticed people bringing up ... and which eBay lawyers seem to have missed.

When eBay uses a seller's image for their own purposes ... AND the seller ''stole'' (stealing is what it is folks) that particular image from somebody else, it is EBAY that will be responsible to the actual original copyright holder for EBAY's use of the image.  In my opinion, this is amplified by eBay's opt-out approach because they are taking something from the seller (who stole it in the first place) that the seller may realistically not realize ebay is taking.  

(Sure, the seller is SUPPOSED to read that usage agreement, but any sane judge knows that less than 2% of of ebay sellers have actually READ and UNDERSTOOD the entire usage agreement. And the judge knows that eBay most certainly knows this and thus the judge knows that eBay understands that most sellers don't know that they are giving away rights that they would not normally intend to give away and that eBay thus preys upon this and benefits from it as a business strategy.  This makes it quite a different situation from an ''ignorance of the law is no excuse'' type of situation.  It is more akin to the agreeement on the back of as sales contract printed in 3 pt type with white ink.)

I am amazed that eBay's lawyers have let this go forward.  It won't be long before somebody (the original rights owner) has eBay in court over it and especially if that somebody is somebody like me who strongly dislikes the way eBay does business.

A lot of people, including some of my competitors, steal (there is that word again) the images that I paid a lot of cash money to make.  I have not given eBay the right to use my images because I no longer sell on eBay because I don't like their way of doing things.  And I especially don't give eBay the right to use my images that somebody else stole from me.

I will be watching and waiting.  

To paraphrase my buddy Clint Eastwood as Harry Callahan...  Ebay, I know what you're thinking, punk.  Will he see the stolen images we used?  Will he really sue us?  Will the class action suit have hundreds OR thousands of claimants?  Will the judge really award the real value that eBay derived from the use of those images stolen from thousands of websites.  So, eBay, you've gotta ask yourself a question: ''Do I feel lucky?'' Well, do ya, punk?

Clarification on eBay Photo Policy with Product Catalog   Clarification on eBay Photo Policy with Product Catalog

by: Buck Efay

Thu Aug 13 01:38:43 2009

if you can prove the images are yours, they are billable. I suggest you datamine worthpoint, find your images then send them this letter, certified mail to their general counsel:

Dear Sirs,
You are hereby ordered to cease and desist in your unauthorized use of my images, illegally obtained from my Ebay listing# . I have never granted you permission to use my copyrighted images, and I request they be removed from the Worthpoint site immediately. If you do not comply with my request by 00/00/00, you will be in violation, and I will pursue legal remedies, as laid out by the DMCA. I will ask the court for the maximum allowable fee, $150,000 per infringing image. I will review your site, and if necessary take legal action if these images are not removed by the date above. Thank you for your attention, Sincerely,

Alternately, you can invoice them directly for an amount that would be an industry standard. IE: check Corbis or other stock agency rates for this type of usage, bill them an amount in the middle of the range, then ask for triple damages as set by law since they did not have your permission. I recovered $4000 from a TV producer that stole 3 images from my Ebay listings this way.

My licensing attorney is standing by.
He says this is totally illegal, and actionable. He has been in the business of licensing since the 1980s. I am ready to cash in some of my retainer, Ebay. I've had several large recoveries of funds & successfully forced a major publisher to completely revise a book after refusing to honor agreements. This is the new way to make money from Ebay, sue them for Fascist policies. Next time I see my pics or text in another listing, I'm filing suit.

Clarification on eBay Photo Policy with Product Catalog   Clarification on eBay Photo Policy with Product Catalog

by: fruity

Thu Aug 13 17:05:28 2009

The problem is ebay already knows the end game on this. They know what they plan to do in the end and right now they're going to roll out only enough to get you to believe its only this. THen once you're in they'll change the program and take more away and club you more.

That's what ebay does to all their programs. like FEEDBACK and DSRS

Clarification on eBay Photo Policy with Product Catalog   Clarification on eBay Photo Policy with Product Catalog

by: Busted

Thu Aug 13 18:31:45 2009

Off topic but current issue -- on one account we 100% (lifetime) and about 500 transaction in the last year. We sell a certain type of product on this. We have a total of 3 low shipping DSRs (one of which we know they person who bought it was pissed because they could not figure out how to pay for 3 days due to Pay Pal issues and gave us 1s across the board). Two others, who knows.

We charge exact shipping on our items and already include insurance at our expense.

Our listings are now surrounded by sellers who have Top Seller badges and much lower DSRs and much less than perfect feedback. Yet we appear to be the bad seller.

Now the Top Seller badges are showing up in Search Results.

I know eBay is doing all of this to bolster their Pay Pal goals, but it is just sad.

I know they sleep well at night (at least the ones who have made millions in stock options) but I really don't see how the rest of the grunts there do.

By the way, quick note to the Power Seller reps who are helping to sell the new eBay plan -- you are next.  Is eBay really going to be able to provide phone support for all the new Power Sellers? Doubt it. Only Top Sellers will get it. So no need for the reps.

Ironic?

Clarification on eBay Photo Policy with Product Catalog   Clarification on eBay Photo Policy with Product Catalog

by: I H8 Ebay

Thu Aug 13 20:42:52 2009

Yup, I had one POS give me 1s on shipping even though she knew in advance EXACTLY the total, whined, cried then paid with a positive feedback, and still gave me 1, knocking me into lowered search.This despite higher averages then all the Doggy Diamonds & thousands of glowing feedback. Well, I pulled everything and put it on Bonanzle, where looking at my records, most of our buyers there signed up just to buy from us. Good job Ebay. And I've dumped Paypal on the website as a direct result of this.

Meanwhile, at Amazon, had some screwball claim the CD I sent him was unplayable, due to scratches. I told him I had bought it now off Amazon 2 weeks before, played it once & didnt care for it, so I sold it. He had the stones to tell me to stick it to Amazon & return it to them, and give him his bread back. Well, I reviewed his F/b, he had pulled this stunt before, and told him no. He went thru Amazon, they found in my favor & not only refunded the guy, they took away his negative to me, and told us we were not at fault. Amazing to be trusted & treated as valued in a transaction, unlike Greedbay.

So, long story short, I'm thru with Feebay, and listing everywhere else but there. In the past 2 days, I put up 300 items elsewhere, and signed up with 2 payment processors.

Clarification on eBay Photo Policy with Product Catalog   Clarification on eBay Photo Policy with Product Catalog

by: Lisa

Sat Aug 15 09:32:41 2009

Just FYI - for those unfamiliar with eBay's most recent User Agreement:

"Content

When you give us content, you grant us a non-exclusive, worldwide, perpetual, irrevocable, royalty-free, sublicensable (through multiple tiers) right to exercise the copyright, trademark, publicity, and database rights (but no other rights) you have in the content, in any media known now or in the future.

For the convenience of sellers, we may offer catalogs of stock images, descriptions and product specifications, which are provided by third parties. While we try to offer reliable data, we cannot promise that the catalogs will always be accurate and up-to-date. If you choose to include catalog content in your listings, you are responsible for ensuring that your listings are accurate and do not include misleading information. You agree that you will not hold our catalog providers or us responsible for inaccuracies in catalogs. The catalogs may include copyrighted, trademarked or other proprietary materials. You may use the catalogs only for informational purposes and only in connection with your eBay listings. You may not use catalog content in a way that infringes or violates anyone’s proprietary rights."

http://pages.ebay.com/help/policies/user-agreement.htm
l

As
long as you use eBay, you're subject to the User Agreement which says:

"We may amend this Agreement at any time by posting the amended terms on this site. Except as stated elsewhere, all amended terms shall automatically be effective 30 days after they are initially posted. Additionally, we will notify you through the eBay Message Center. This Agreement may not be otherwise amended except in a writing hand signed by you and us. For purposes of this provision, a “writing” does not include an email message and a signature does not include an electronic signature."

In other words, eBay covered their butts, if you don't want your content copyrights to be used by eBay, you need to unregister from eBay.

Clarification on eBay Photo Policy with Product Catalog   Clarification on eBay Photo Policy with Product Catalog

by: o.c.d.collectibles

Sat Aug 15 13:04:30 2009

I took personal photographs of a 1970's Christmas needlepoint book written by a Needlecraft Guild in the 1970's. I took over 20 photos in close-up shots detailed in ways that only I could do. The book was a fairly rare one, and had quite a few good bids on it in ebay. Some crackerjack, representing the Lichtenstein Foundation and using their rights on EBAY to cancel auctions unbeknownst to the family of the foundation, took it upon herself to have my auction cancelled stating that the auction was a violation of intellectual property of the Lichtenstein Foundation.
We're talking BIG JOKE here, folks! The photos could not be FURTHER from the truth, and any nincompoop working in ebay would have questioned it, just by looking at the photos!LOL!

Lichtentein is a famous artist!LOL! This was a little sewing book!Come on NOW!!!

The photos were HUGE!! If ebay can't distinguish one photo from another, and can't distinguish real from not real, then what can they be trusted to do with your listings?
I had to go after the Lichtenstein family and report that woman for fraud. They finally made her retract her actions, Ebay returned my auction,way after Christmas.. but the only interested person bidding was another dealer, and she got a great deal on the book.
One of my more "pleasant" transactions with ebay BEFORE they changed their policies!!LOL!

Clarification on eBay Photo Policy with Product Catalog   Clarification on eBay Photo Policy with Product Catalog

by: o.c.d.collectibles

Sat Aug 15 13:54:04 2009

If I decide to use my own face in the background of my photo, then my photo cannot be used by anyone else without my permission. I can use my own self to demonstrate anything I sell. No one else can.

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