Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Wed July 5 2017 15:54:14

eBay Co-opts Seller Photos for Its Own Catalog

By: Ina Steiner

Sponsored Link

eBay is co-opting seller photographs for its own catalog. Sellers could previously opt-out of the policy, but as part of its Summer Seller Update, eBay granted itself permission to use any and all images in seller listings. 

Sellers in Australia are objecting to the policy, which went into effect this month. eBay told Australian sellers:

What if I don't want to or can't legally share my images?  
If you don't want to share permission to use any of your images or information, you should remove them from your listings before July 2017 and replace with different images.

An Australian site called Power Retail said sellers there object, calling it a "grab for sellers' intellectual property." It wrote, "The key concern for sellers is that their original product images featured on eBay will automatically be included in the eBay product catalogue, "thereby making them freely available to competitors.""

In the US, where the change takes effect "by August," eBay explained the new policy this way:

Continuing to enhance the eBay catalog
To help provide a consistent buying experience and enable a faster and more accurate listing process, eBay uses images provided by our sellers in our catalog. By August 2017, sellers will no longer be able to opt out of this program, and all photos in listings created, relisted, or renewed will be considered for possible inclusion in the catalog.

Sellers in the US also objected, such as one who explained their photos took time and talent to take and provided them with a competitive advantage. When "unscrupulous or lazy sellers" used the seller's photos, they had been able to get eBay to remove them since they were protected under copyright law.

"Now eBay is forcing me to let my competitors "use" my photographs to sell their items, which puts me at a competitive disadvantage since these sellers, aka, my competition, do not have to factor in the cost it takes to set up, take, and format the photograph in their listing price."

What do you think of the new policy - and have you made any changes as a result?




Comments (34) | Leave Comment | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for eBay Co-opts Seller Photos for Its Own Catalog   eBay Co-opts Seller Photos for Its Own Catalog

by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jul 5 16:33:03 2017

They can have all the images they can glean from our auctions. Everyone else steals the pictures so why should fleecebay be any different.

To many other things that are more important to worry about.

Perminate Link for eBay Co-opts Seller Photos for Its Own Catalog   eBay Co-opts Seller Photos for Its Own Catalog

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Wed Jul 5 16:52:42 2017

PATENTLY ILLEGAL -- TOS OR NOT!

One more example of how this criminal organization cheats and steals from sellers.

Literally.

Ebafia = Mafia

Perminate Link for eBay Co-opts Seller Photos for Its Own Catalog   eBay Co-opts Seller Photos for Its Own Catalog

by: TomH This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jul 5 16:53:54 2017

It is a !@^&****%$# (series of words) which amounts to cursing eBay for more of their blatant theft.

Of course, like all of the thievery that goes on with eBay, they will put it in the user agreement and you agree with their thievery or leave.  

Perminate Link for eBay Co-opts Seller Photos for Its Own Catalog   eBay Co-opts Seller Photos for Its Own Catalog

This user has validated their user name. by: eXtinctBay

Wed Jul 5 17:21:52 2017

If they use just one of my photos for a stock picture of an item, I guess this would be OK.

What I would not like at all are my many detailed photos of the exact thing I am offering used for another listing. Making this effort to differentiate your merchandise from others shouldn't be copied.

It used to be illegal for a seller to copy an item title from another and reuse it for their listing. Now, many lazy sellers just cut and paste the title and apply it to their merchandise.

This is, to say the least, ''cheesy''. Can't they take a few seconds and move a couple of words around?? Hope this is never allowed with photos- it will just cause buyers to be confused, and would be detrimental to eBay as a whole.

Perminate Link for eBay Co-opts Seller Photos for Its Own Catalog   eBay Co-opts Seller Photos for Its Own Catalog

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Wed Jul 5 17:23:46 2017

Isn't this a recipe for more SNAD claims? If Seller A has a pristine widget for sale, and her photos evidence that, and then Seller Z uses the same photos for his damaged widget (and knowing that many sellers never move past the photos), this just seems like another in eBay's long list of bad ideas.

Perminate Link for eBay Co-opts Seller Photos for Its Own Catalog   eBay Co-opts Seller Photos for Its Own Catalog

by: Snapped This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jul 5 19:30:28 2017

Wonder how eBay would react to receiving a DCMA takedown notice for every catalog photo they used without permission of the copywrite owner?

Perminate Link for eBay Co-opts Seller Photos for Its Own Catalog   eBay Co-opts Seller Photos for Its Own Catalog

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Wed Jul 5 20:07:02 2017

I pre empted eBay's picture theft back when they first started using seller images...

First, I use a colored background instead of eBay's preferred white background, then I add my seller ID as a watermark and place it right above the item in the photo so that it can not be edited out.

As such, I do not imagine eBay will be using any of my images anytime soon despite granting themselves the right to do so.

Perminate Link for eBay Co-opts Seller Photos for Its Own Catalog   eBay Co-opts Seller Photos for Its Own Catalog

by: phantom This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jul 5 23:08:55 2017

Burn all your images to a DVD.
Then copyright the entire DVD as a collection.
Then sue ebay for copyright violations.

Perminate Link for eBay Co-opts Seller Photos for Its Own Catalog   eBay Co-opts Seller Photos for Its Own Catalog

by: elcheapoposters This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Wed Jul 5 23:57:51 2017

In case sellers did not realize, you've given ebay permission years ago - it's been in the TOS for quite a long time. If fact, you gave them the rights in perpetuity - meaning FOREVER and EVER...

But, honestly, who cares? Are you losing money from the images? No - would anyone pay you for them? Most likely not. Is it arguably fair use? Of course it is.

I've said it once - I'll say it again - build your OWN site and spend money and time promoting YOUR OWN site..

Find the TOS on ebay, then go down to the CONTENT section:

... you grant us a non-exclusive, worldwide, perpetual, irrevocable, royalty-free, sublicensable any and all Intellectual Property Rights...

Perminate Link for eBay Co-opts Seller Photos for Its Own Catalog   eBay Co-opts Seller Photos for Its Own Catalog

by: elcheapoposters This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Thu Jul 6 00:00:16 2017

... and if you think adding a watermark or background colors are a good idea? Think again. Google product ads won't show your products so you're losing sales when ebay promotes you via Google or Bing ads - they are both against using watermarks and will autodetect and disallow those ads from showing.

Perminate Link for eBay Co-opts Seller Photos for Its Own Catalog   eBay Co-opts Seller Photos for Its Own Catalog

by: Trying-My-Best This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jul 6 00:11:21 2017


I am bone tired of this nonsense.












Perminate Link for eBay Co-opts Seller Photos for Its Own Catalog   eBay Co-opts Seller Photos for Its Own Catalog

by: imbloated This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jul 6 00:16:54 2017

I find it ironic that one Ebay seller cannot use another Ebay seller's image on eBay. Customer service considers it theft and threatens the boot. I am not sure the point of prohibiting this since as you say, competitors on other sites can use the images, and eBay's purloined catalogue images can link to other sellers. It's a case of "Do as I say, not as I do."

Perminate Link for eBay Co-opts Seller Photos for Its Own Catalog   eBay Co-opts Seller Photos for Its Own Catalog

by: BobNJ This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jul 6 00:43:19 2017

eBay has been selling photos from user listings to third party websites for years. It's nothing new. If I remember right there has been something in the terms of service for years that gives them rights to reuse any image you post when selling on eBay.

Perminate Link for eBay Co-opts Seller Photos for Its Own Catalog   eBay Co-opts Seller Photos for Its Own Catalog

This user has validated their user name. by: cfrphoto

Thu Jul 6 01:21:17 2017

Every classic collectible postage stamp is different. Using the image of some other postage stamp in a listing would constitute fraud.

The policy doesn't work for other unique items either, especially color slides. The image needed to sell the slide is copyrighted material either owned by the seller of the slide or the original photographer if the slide is second hand.

Time for a class action suit?

Perminate Link for eBay Co-opts Seller Photos for Its Own Catalog   eBay Co-opts Seller Photos for Its Own Catalog

by: BackInBlack This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jul 6 01:53:40 2017

That's crap. I spend a *lot* of time producing professional photos of my items because that's what makes or breaks a listing. But then, many of my items are either used and/or unique in some way, so good luck re-using them.

@Ric said> ''I pre empted eBay's picture theft back when they first started using seller images... First, I use a colored background instead of eBay's preferred white background, then I add my seller ID as a watermark and place it right above the item in the photo so that it can not be edited out.''

I've only recently started selling again after being away almost four years, but last I remember, they had pretty strict rules on background color, borders, and 'text in photos' which may not include watermarks.

But on a side note, I actually saw a seller in India the other day use an exact copy of an American seller's listing for an identical item, *including* a watermarked image showing the name of the American seller's hardware store!  But... the Indian seller had the same item at about 1/3 the price (and free shipping).

I ordered TWO sets of 'em.  LOL.  Hey, if they never show up, I've got FeeBay's bulletproof 'Buyer Protection,' right? :)

Perminate Link for eBay Co-opts Seller Photos for Its Own Catalog   eBay Co-opts Seller Photos for Its Own Catalog

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Thu Jul 6 02:20:07 2017

So does this mean that VERO can now go after Ebay for having photos that they claim belong to a member of VERO?  

Or if we use photos from the Ebay catalog, does that mean VERO can't come after the sellers that use them from the catalog?

Ebay is going to absorb some of the pics that I know for a fact VERO has come after certain sellers for using them, while other sellers get away with using them.  So will VERO hold Ebay to the same standards?

Perminate Link for eBay Co-opts Seller Photos for Its Own Catalog   eBay Co-opts Seller Photos for Its Own Catalog

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Thu Jul 6 06:21:23 2017

One thing that has always given us an edge on eBay is that we spend a great deal of time on our photos and our finished photos look great. I am a semi-professional photographer and  I would put my images up against any professional photographer any day of the week.

If the lazy "photo on the floor" folks can now use my images then I no longer have an edge.

This company continues to disgust me which is why I spend more time building elsewhere than on eBay.

Perminate Link for eBay Co-opts Seller Photos for Its Own Catalog   eBay Co-opts Seller Photos for Its Own Catalog

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jul 6 08:16:13 2017

Its just YET ANOTHER scummy thing that eBay has decided to do to its sellers.

As mentioned above - they gave themselves permission via the TOS to keep any and all material uploaded to their site - they dont "need" permission "here" since you already gave it to them when you signed in and agreed to it.

As for VERO ... VERO was simply created to keep eBay 1) out of trouble ... "see we really DO care about copyright" and 2) its a profit center for them - since they get back end money + sell tools to brands to help "find you".

VERO being part of eBay wont "get them in trouble" since as everyone knows ... you should be able to use manufacturers pictures under the fair use statue in the DMCA - but eBay and brands conspire against you.

eBay is just too damn cheap to license icecat or itemdb ... better off buying a mansion in the Caymans with those dollars.

eBay sucks and always will, but its a necessary evil and you learn to live with it.

"it puts the lotion on its skin or else it gets the hose again" - THAT is eBays business philosophy.

Perminate Link for eBay Co-opts Seller Photos for Its Own Catalog   eBay Co-opts Seller Photos for Its Own Catalog

This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Thu Jul 6 09:14:39 2017

"so you're losing sales when ebay promotes you via Google or Bing ads"
LOL, eBay promoting sellers on Google and Bing...

Perminate Link for eBay Co-opts Seller Photos for Its Own Catalog   eBay Co-opts Seller Photos for Its Own Catalog

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jul 6 10:22:06 2017

Marie - quick question plz ...

No seller that Ive ever heard of, has been targeted by a brand for a picture thats on Amazon aka their stock photo ....

I would agree that eBay should lean in that direction too - ie relief from VERO abuse ....

But I think the question "really is" (correct me if Im wrong plz) ... "as stated by many (and myself as well) - the pics we take make us stand out from other sellers - wouldnt that "go against" what makes eBay "special"?

Yes, eBay is looking to be a more standardized marketplace ... BUT - is the attempt to standardize pics (and therefore sellers) a method to remove that individuality? If so - shouldnt they "tell us"?

I NEVER use the catalog (as an example). I have found it RIDDLED with data - and as I found out - if you use it and its wrong - you still liable for returns ....

In fact eBay told me outright "its YOUR responsibility" to make sure your listing is correct, PERIOD".

Im not sure where eBay wants to go with all this .... using catalog pics (as others have stated ...) is a recipe for DISASTER.  

Click to view more comments
1 2  [Next Page]


Login is required to post comments.
To sign in to leave a comment using your AB Verify User Name, fill in the form below. If you have not yet signed up for AB Verify, or if you'd like more information, go to the Registration Page
.

Login for AB Verify
Be sure and use your email address and password to log in.

 
Email:
Password:
 
 Forgot Your Password?
 Even though you are signed in with the AuctionBytes Blog, you will have to sign in to the EcommerceBytes blog. But you can sign in with your existing AB Verify info.