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Ebay vs. Musician

michael posted about 12 years ago | from the slingstones-for-sale-cheap dept.

Music 428

evenprime writes "Ebay's Verified Rights Owner Program was designed to make sure the auction site doesn't let people sell things that violate copyright laws. Unfortunately, over-zealous ebay employees have been causing problems for independent musicians. George Ziemann has a detailed account of the difficulties he's faced when trying to sell copies of his CD on the auction site. Apparently ebay kept pulling his ads simply because he was selling a product recorded to CD-R! Ebay employees assume that all audio recordings on CD-R are the result of piracy, despite the fact that many indie bands burn their own music to CD-R to sell it. Wired has a nice summary of this story."

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fp? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4521824)


Uh what? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4521832)

I can go on Ebay right now and buy Vcd copies of pirated dvds and cdr copies of pirated music cds. And they are shutting down the people selling music they made?!?!? I don't understand.

Odd (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4521834)

It's odd that I have sold some of my music on eBay (which was on burnt cds). I don't sell enough to justify pressing the discs.

ebay (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4521839)

any place you cant sell body parts you should already know is going to give you hell for music on cd-r's...

Well that is what you get when you asked for it! (0, Troll)

viggen (620157) | about 12 years ago | (#4521840)

I cant blame Ebay, the users of various PtP networks who are sucking illegal stuff are to blame! They opened the box now live with it.


I rather not tell my mum! (-1, Offtopic)

viggen (620157) | about 12 years ago | (#4522004)

Dammed, it took me now only 2 posts to become a troll. I really screwed up, regards

CYA (5, Insightful)

tanveer1979 (530624) | about 12 years ago | (#4521841)

Its called Cover You Ass.
EBAY knows doing such a thing will just bring it some bad reviews... OTOH, not doing this can bring in the RIAA hounds... what would you choose?

Re:CYA (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Cowtard (573891) | about 12 years ago | (#4521940)

Yeah, it's easy to judge and say one should stand up against the RIAA when it's not your money and ass that would be entering the fight.

Re:CYA (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4521967)

Its called Cover You Ass.
EBAY knows doing such a thing will just bring it some bad reviews... OTOH, not doing this can bring in the RIAA hounds... what would you choose?

You don't even use Ebay. Your opinion should be stricken from the record as that of somebody who doesn't have a fuckin clue. Go read the 1st post. Go look on ebay sometime. They are not complying with the RIAA. Matter of fact I just bought the full DVD set of the british comedy Mr Bean on BURNT CD-R SuperVideoCDS. And tommorow the seller will have another one up. CYA? More like FTLG. And yeah that means Fuck the lil guy.

Re:CYA (2)

Sc00ter (99550) | about 12 years ago | (#4522007)

1. If they're on CD-R SuperVideoCDs they're not DVD are they
2. Movies/videos are under the MPAA not the RIAA
3. The content of the DVD/SVCD are owned by the BBC, last I knew, not a member of the MPAA

Re:CYA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4522064)

All questions answered.
1. The ad was placed as a SuperVideoCd version of the DVD Mr Bean Boxed set.
2. You are right.
3. The BBC still has copyrights. Its still illegal to make copies of it and sell it for personal profit.
That was just an example of something I bought yesterday. If you actually used Ebay before spouting your opinions, you would know the plethora of copyrighted works available on there. Nothing pisses me off more than a person who has no background or experience in a subject telling me their opinion on said subject.

Except they're not, if you had RTFA (5, Informative)

kiwimate (458274) | about 12 years ago | (#4522145)

The guy's web site clearly states that he complied with all E-Bay rules. He is the copyright owner, which he stated in his listings.

He also gives screen shots of other E-Bay listings which are blatant rip-offs.

He also points out that E-Bay claimed that someone else had supposedly said they were the copyright holder. When he wrote back to them asking to know who was making this false claim so he could protect his copyright, E-Bay responded with a letter which ignored his request.

Good grief. Read the article. Idiot.

CD-R? (3, Insightful)

billybob2001 (234675) | about 12 years ago | (#4521848)

Once it's written to (and finalized), it's a CD, rather than a CD-R.

So just sell it as a CD.

3. Profit?

Re:CD-R? (4, Informative)

LordHunter317 (90225) | about 12 years ago | (#4521920)

Not true. A CD and a CD-R are written to completely differently. A CD-R is still a CD-R. Find a really old, first-generation CD player. Try playing a CD-R in it. It won't, simply because it can comprehend the physical format. I don't know all the complex details, but I do know a CD-R != CD.

Re:CD-R? (2, Funny)

silicon_synapse (145470) | about 12 years ago | (#4522016)

Wouldn't it be a CD-W? (CD-Written) The only difference I know of between CDs and CD-Rs is that CDs use pits of some sort to form sounds while CD-R/RWs use dyes. I don't think it'd be inaccurate to call it a CD. Just don't specify pressed.

Re:CD-R? (2)

Fugly (118668) | about 12 years ago | (#4522085)

I agree that you'd have to let people know it's CD-R media because of compatibility issues.

I just thought I'd point out that the vast majority of cd players will play CD-R's, even really really old ones. CD-R's were designed to be compatible with existing players. There are just isolated players here and there that can't handle them. They're the exception, not the rule. It's pretty unpredictable too. I had a PoS sanyo CD player made sometime around 1986 that played CD-R's fine but had the misfortune of buying a fairly expensive car stereo in 1997 that couldn't handle them.

Re:CD-R? (2, Interesting)

haa...jesus christ (576980) | about 12 years ago | (#4522125)

I would recommend that you don't say anything, and in the event that someone complains about incompatibility, you refund their money and apologize, or work out some other arrangement. This argument assumes that the majority of players can handle cd-rs, of course, which i think is fair.

Re:CD-R? (4, Informative)

LBU.Zorro (585180) | about 12 years ago | (#4522093)

Not true again.

CDs and CDRs are not different IF THEY ARE SINGLE SESSION.

Older CD drives cannot hack the multi-session CDs, BUT single session copies are identicle to AudioCDs, and in fact data CDs. Undetectable to CD-Drives old / new.

Some car audio systems (Normally cheapo personal CD player conversions) use low powered lasers / optical pickups, and hence weren't able to read SOME Single Session CDRs (Depending on the quality of the burner and CDR media itself - been there since 2x was the tops). But they couldn't read anything but the cleanest CDs either so its no great loss.

So Single Session CDR == CD
Multi-Session CDR != CD

Also, the format can be comprehended, and that is the major issue, its that the format LOOKS like what it expects, but that it then does things it doesn't, like put a second start-stop table in for each burn, lead-out/ lead-in sections in the middle of the cd, etc... Thus it can read it but treats it as a very very skippy CD, and can't access all of the data on it (audio or actual data)...

Please get facts right before giving an statement such as the above.


Re:CD-R? Because it is. (3, Informative)

iainl (136759) | about 12 years ago | (#4521938)

My in-car CD player doesn't cope with CD-R media, and neither to several DVD players from major brands (Sony, for instance). If I purchase something labelled as a 'CD' but find out it won't play on my equipment, then the guy is going to get negative feedback, trust me. They also degrade much faster than a properly pressed CD.

CD-Rs are not normal CDs. Labelling them as such is bad.

Well... (1)

citizenkeller (584425) | about 12 years ago | (#4521943)

...My (only) 5 years-old-but-still-perfectly-usable-and-enjoyble CD Stereo seems to disagree...


Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4521851)

I mean what the fuck if they want to sell their shitty emo music CD they should just put it on their website why bother clogging up ebay after all ebay is there for penis enlargement and body parts

Re:SERVES THEM RIGHT! (3, Insightful)

nugneant (553683) | about 12 years ago | (#4521868)

You're probably trolling, but just for the benefit of anyone else reading this - the reason to sell through Ebay is because it's a no hassle, trusted organization. It reaches out to people who might feel unsafe giving their cc# out to some random indie "label", while still selling on the band's terms.

cutting the nose to spite the face (2, Insightful)

Alien54 (180860) | about 12 years ago | (#4521860)

I mean, take about throwing away goodwill.

I don't think that the best idea is to anger a group of people who are known to have an audience. I mean, these guys have fans.

but they must bow to the wicked witch of the west.

time for the traditional raspberry to the RIAA


It's not just individuals... (3, Interesting)

MrFredBloggs (529276) | about 12 years ago | (#4521864)

...who have such problems.

Re:It's not just individuals... (5, Interesting)

SirSlud (67381) | about 12 years ago | (#4521929)

What was very interesting, at:

was the bit about Top 40 artsits only clearing samples you can recognize.

Its not like it surprises me, but thats some good argumentative fodder should you be talking to proponants of *air-tight* copyright laws.

That is, music doesn't/can't get made without samples, and even the big players dont clear all their samples .. so why should the little players?

Re:It's not just individuals... (3, Insightful)

MrFredBloggs (529276) | about 12 years ago | (#4522031)

>That is, music doesn't/can't get made without samples

Not true. I`m not sure about percentages of this vs that sound creation method, but there are all manner of ways of creating sounds - analogue synths, simulated analog synths, fm, additive, combinations of simple waveforms modified by algo's etc. Also, many samples are just simple drum/percussion samples you can get on a sample disk (or sample yourself) or whatever. This doesn't detract from your basic point, however.

Re:It's not just individuals... (5, Insightful)

kin_korn_karn (466864) | about 12 years ago | (#4522104)

and then there's that stupid PLAYING OF INSTRUMENTS that all of us luddites engage in... perish the thought that a computer doesn't make an appearance in part of our life

Huh? (2, Insightful)

JJ22 (558624) | about 12 years ago | (#4521865)

Don't we have laws in place to protect these types of things from being executed by individuals (ebay as opposed to law enforcement agencies)?

It's Ironic (2)

eclectro (227083) | about 12 years ago | (#4521869)

That ebay has a problem with selling CDRs, but doesn't have a problem with selling pornography.

Too bad they are an online monoply, leaving no choice for those who want an alternative.

Re:It's Ironic (0)

Branc0 (580914) | about 12 years ago | (#4521944)

Of course there is an alternative, build your own site.

If they are in business it's because there is (you guessed it) profit. I know the times are hard for investment, but it doesn't make it impossible.

Re:It's Ironic (3, Insightful)

nugneant (553683) | about 12 years ago | (#4521950)

How is that IRONIC? Did Alanis Morresette teach you the English language or something?

IRONY: Incongruity between what might be expected and what actually occurs: "Hyde noted the irony of Ireland's copying the nation she most hated" (Richard Kain).

Sorry to jump down your throat, but this is one of my personal pet peeves. Irony would be if Ebay had a problem with selling CD-Rs, when they themselves were the largest supplier of blank CD-R media. Or if they wouldn't sell CD-Rs, but linked to Napster and Kazaa.

What you describe is merely a case of double standards.

Re:It's Ironic (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4522024)

IRONY: Incongruity between what might be expected and what actually occurs: "Hyde noted the irony of Ireland's copying the nation she most hated" (Richard Kain).

Sorry to jump down your throat, but this is one of my personal pet peeves. Irony would be if Ebay had a problem with selling CD-Rs, when they themselves were the largest supplier of blank CD-R media. Or if they wouldn't sell CD-Rs, but linked to Napster and Kazaa.

To take your definition ("Incongruity between what might be expected and what actually occurs:"), it could be expected that a company that sells pornography has no moral quarms about selling CD-Rs. But it does have moral quarms, how ironic. So, dicksplash, all you have managed to prove is that you don't understand your proper definitions.

Re:It's Ironic (1)

gabec (538140) | about 12 years ago | (#4522142)

first, it's "qualm" not "quarm", and secondly, the moral dilemma of selling pr0n vs. the "moral" dilemma of selling *possibly* pirated music is completely unrelated. Pr0n is legal, selling copies of music is not (though why sci-fi conventions can sell pirated copies of everything under the sun with no worries of being sued into oblivion I don't know). So it's not even a double standard.

Re:It's Ironic (3, Insightful)

joshsisk (161347) | about 12 years ago | (#4522030)

What you describe is merely a case of double standards.

I would argue it's not even a double standard. Porno is legal. CD-Rs of your own music is legal, too... The problem is the lunkheads who search for bootlegs aren't paying enough attention, and end up NOT finding the real bootleggers, instead screwing the honest musicians (because the bootleggers probably don't use the term "cd-r", but the honest musicians do).

Re:It's Ironic (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4522082)

Did Alanis Morresette teach you the English language
Should that not be "ded Alanes Morresette teach you spelleng?"

Re:It's Ironic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4522100)

Uhh...what backwoods corner of the net are you from? There are several others out there. Ebay just happens to be the largest peon to peon one.

See also:

any local net auctions. (Good if you don't want to have to pay shipping, just pick it up!)

Re:It's Ironic (1)

Thai-Pan (414112) | about 12 years ago | (#4522103)

They also don't have a problem with selling "Mama Peckeroni" pasta. It's peckerlicious!

Re:It's Ironic (1)

joshsisk (161347) | about 12 years ago | (#4522135)

A : that's not ironic.
B : what does one have to do with the other?

Cry me a river (3, Insightful)

revscat (35618) | about 12 years ago | (#4521871)

There's a ton of different auction sites out there. If they don't like what EBay is doing they can quite simply go elsewhere and peddle their wares. If people really want the product they're selling then they'll find it.

GOD whining about corporations is really getting old, especially when there are so many options available. It's not like EBay has a monopoly on the web-auction business. If these quote-unquote artists really don't like it they could get together and start their OWN auction site, just for indie musicians.

The free market. Love it, or... love it.

Re:Cry me a river (5, Funny)

spatrick_123 (459796) | about 12 years ago | (#4521934)

If these quote-unquote artists...

The funny thing about writing as opposed to speaking is that you don't have to actually say "quote-unquote". Due to the magic of the "quote" key, you can simply enclose the appropriate phrase in what I like to call "quote marks". For future reference, it is also unecessary to use "finger quotes" while typing.


Give me your name so I can make you cry a river (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4521942)

Holy fuckin shit. The point you idiot is that any any given second there are between 300,000 and 450,000 cds for sale on Ebay. 90% of those are copies of COMMERCIAL music being sold, illegally. Ebay has no problem with those. They instead choose to go after people who do actually hold the COPYRIGHT for the music being sold. I know I will get modded troll. And why the fuck did you capitalize god? god is a creation of the minds of the weak-willed and pathetic. You are so lost and depressed by your lives. you strive to have a reason to exist. your god will not save you. death is slumber. not a meeting with your non existant creator.
(/spleen vented)

Re:Give me your name so I can make you cry a river (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4521980)

IANAL. but isn't a good way fight this is to sue Ebay for diffamation? They practically accuse seller of copyright infringement without giving any arguments.

Re:Give me your name so I can make you cry a river (1)

joshsisk (161347) | about 12 years ago | (#4522042)

Whatever, troll... Go look at the CD listings on ebay, no way it's anywhere near 90% bootlegs.

Re:Cry me a river (5, Insightful)

arkanes (521690) | about 12 years ago | (#4521955)

The fact that you can always go somewhere else (which, of course, they can) doesn't mean that you shouldn't pressure a company to provide what you want - that is what the whole free market is about, after all. Now, if they're planning on suing ebay, or attempting to get legislation to force E-Bay to accept auctions of CD-Rs, that's a different issue. But exposing and complaining about a companies braindead policies, in the hope that public pressure and backlash will change those policies, is the very essence of democracy and the free market. Ayn Rand would be proud!

Re:Cry me a river (2)

Atlantix (209245) | about 12 years ago | (#4521961)

Way to read the article. He isn't interested in selling on EBay anymore. Try controlling your trigger finger.


Re:Cry me a river (2, Informative)

joshsisk (161347) | about 12 years ago | (#4522059)

If these quote-unquote artists really don't like it they could get together and start their OWN auction site, just for indie musicians.

There is one [] .

Beyond that, though, what's wrong with people complaining when someone you have entered a business relationship, complete with a CONTRACT, doesn't hold up their end of the bargain?

Re:Cry me a river (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4522136)

Oh yeah, free market. Cartels and monopolies included, right?

SNIPER is a NIGGER (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4521881)

Did anyone ever think it WAS NOT a member of one of the lower MUDRACES?

Any realistic PATRIOTIC WHITE MAN should know better now than to trust a filthy NIGGER.

Pictures of the ape and info can be found here. []

More Info
MSNBC [] The Struggle []

Fair Play (2, Informative)

BoBaBrain (215786) | about 12 years ago | (#4521882)

E-bay is doing the right thing. They're under no obligation to sell every legal product that comes their way.

Refusing a few kosher items may pee-off the seller (and the few loyal fans), but accidentally selling one sour item could really land them in it.

Trite, bit is is better to be safe than sorry.

Re:Fair Play (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4522003)

They're under no obligation to sell every legal product that comes their way.

But they are under some obligation to sell every illegal product that comes their way??
I know you'll answer no. But here's my pre-emptive reply.
Then why do they sell every illegal product that comes their way.
And don't tell me that they fucking don't. You probably don't even USE ebay. Go order a music CD or a VideoCD from there sometime. It won't be a pressed disc.

Re:Fair Play (2)

BoBaBrain (215786) | about 12 years ago | (#4522036)

Fair point.
They occasionally try to be on the safe-side, but the're not nearly consistent enough for it to be effective.

Re:Fair Play (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4522049)

If they're doing such a great job, they need to stop stuff like this:

Pirated Virtual Hammond auction #1 []
Pirated Virtual Hammond auction #2 []
Pirated Virtual Hammond auction #3 []

This guy has been trying to sell this stuff off and on for months and the auctions keep getting shut down, but nothing ever happens to him

Re:Fair Play (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4522094)

Are you sure its a pirate? How can you tell? His feedback isn't so bad. Have you considered contacting the software developers/publishers?

Re:Fair Play (1)

joshsisk (161347) | about 12 years ago | (#4522072)

The thing is, there are lots of bootlegs and burns on ebay.

Re:Fair Play (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4522081)

but there's already so much illegal stuff being sold on e-bay... VCD's, etc.

This is stupid.

Re:Fair Play (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4522110)


And if some shop refuses to let black customers in, you're saying that they are "doing the right thing"?

If some company provides service, it should be provided to everyone. Discriminating people is illegal.

Re:Fair Play (1)

BoBaBrain (215786) | about 12 years ago | (#4522139)

Discriminating people is illegal.

A troll I know, but I'm bored enough to bite...
Discriminating people based on sex, race, religion, age or a number of other reasonable traits is illegel. However most businesses reserve the right to refuse custom.

They're well within their rights even if this action doesn't help them any.

Good example (4, Interesting)

SirSlud (67381) | about 12 years ago | (#4521883)

of how a super-anal IP climate pretty much just hurts those trying to break into the market.

The RIAA should just rename itself 'The Trustworthy Music Initiative'. The more strongarm RIAA gets, and the more fear they seed .. nobody is going to run/approve/host indie boy's audio bits unless they've been signed off by a big label.

Ridiculous (5, Insightful)

spatrick_123 (459796) | about 12 years ago | (#4521886)

The truly ridiculous thing is that this system doesn't work anyway. The most common thing I've seen from people selling bootlegs or other illicit music is for the auction description to say "You are bidding on a pencil (or other random object). The winner will also receive..." The sad thing is that this usually happens with bands that don't mind their music being traded (Pearl Jam, Phish, etc.), but newbies get scammed into buying copies of stuff they could get basically free for trade. EBay has done very little to prevent abuses like this, yet they'll prevent a musician from selling his own work?!

Re:Ridiculous (3, Interesting)

melquiades (314628) | about 12 years ago | (#4522022)

EBay has done very little to prevent abuses like this, yet they'll prevent a musician from selling his own work?!

Should eBay really be responsible for preventing these abuses? The market does handle some things well, and this is one of them: if people are willing to pay, let them pay. As long as the seller accurately represents what they are selling, and the sale doesn't break the law, the rest is between the buyer and the seller.

One time, I was hanging out with a friend, and he noted that he'd found a Susan B. Anthony silver dollar. I said, "You should sell it on eBay!" We laughed ... then looked at he other, and he checked: sure enough, there were several Susan B. Anthony dollars on sale. One was bidding at over $3.

OK, so the buyers are probably suckers. But they're not being scammed -- they're just paying money for something that you and I probably think is not worth it. Is that eBay's problem?

Simple solution (5, Interesting)

papasui (567265) | about 12 years ago | (#4521889)

~ Don't say in the auction listing that the CD will be on a CD-R. Just say that it is the original, un-altered cd. Put any questions feel free to email me (or something similiar) at the bottom of the auction. Ebay doesn't snoop through packages and unless they ask you or another user actually reports that you are selling music on CD-Rs they won't know.

Re:Simple solution (1, Redundant)

WetCat (558132) | about 12 years ago | (#4521958)

There is one little catch. Some old players and CD readers cannot read anything except the printed CDs. Saying you are selling CD you are misleading the owners of that old players.

Re:Simple solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4522026)

Actually he's misleading all the buyers, but it only effects those with old cd players. That still doesn't make it any less wrong. Last time I checked there was a word for lying to the consumer. Oh yeah, FRAUD. How quickly we forget Enron, et al.

Suprised? (3, Funny)

looseBits (556537) | about 12 years ago | (#4521909)

When in doubt, err on the side with the most lawyers.

CNN and white media happy that sniper is a nigger (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4521914)

I bet white people are pretty happy the sniper gang is black

I mean, you guys already got Kaczynski, McVeigh, Gacy, Dahmer


Is eBay the most appropriate venue for indies? (5, Insightful)

Sheetrock (152993) | about 12 years ago | (#4521915)

Given that eBay is an auction site, that indies are by nature not likely to have the kind of demand that would make auctioning their music worthwhile, and that CD-Rs of their music being pressed by them isn't something that is likely to be in a strictly limited supply, what's the advantage of selling your own music on eBay over setting up your own website or using one designed to push independent music that already exists?

That doesnt make it ok to prevent them from trying (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4521987)

So because there's not much demand for what they're selling, it's ok to stomp on them? How about just letting the auction end without bidding on it if you aren't interested, instead of strong-arming the seller?

And what about all the other useless knick-knacks and utter crap that's for sale there? Is that more worthy than this guy's music?

Re:Is eBay the most appropriate venue for indies? (4, Insightful)

AaronGeek (599931) | about 12 years ago | (#4522041)

The advantage is traffic. I'm sure the amount of traffic available on Ebay far surpasses any independent site and it will increase exposure to his site. In essence, if he can sell a cd on eBay and the buyer likes it, next time the buyer will go to the musician's site to get the next album and refer his friends etc.

Re:Is eBay the most appropriate venue for indies? (1)

joshsisk (161347) | about 12 years ago | (#4522096)

I think it has something to do with the fact that many millions of people use eBay.

Re:Is eBay the most appropriate venue for indies? (1)

Qzukk (229616) | about 12 years ago | (#4522099)

Ebay's buy it now feature makes it possible for people to not have to worry about the actual auction... want to sell cd's for $5 each? set the starting bid to 4.99 or something and set buy it now at 5.

Not only that, but I seem to recall reading that ebay is starting fixed-price sales too.

Come on people... (4, Funny)

Spazholio (314843) | about 12 years ago | (#4521917)

Does eBay automatically cancel auctions that contain "CDR" or "CDRW" on principle? Because if not, and an employee actually READ the bid description, I'm sure (ok, relatively sure) Ziemann put on there that this was his own music. If so, why didn't they just email him and ask to clear up any confusion?

Just becuase he only anticipated selling 20 CDs doesn't mean he should be cheated that opportunity simply because eBay employees are tools.

Ebay Records, INC (2, Funny)

babylon93 (611333) | about 12 years ago | (#4521919)

Maybe they just want their piece of the pie.

A workaround, and a musing (5, Interesting)

Navaash Fenwylde (35067) | about 12 years ago | (#4521921)

First, the workaround. There are CD-Rs that are silver on the bottom, aren't there? By doing the burning on that kind of product, it makes it a more presentable product since eBay only tends to check on the most superficial level. Doujinshi (Japanese fan comics, usually risque) for example they will not bother with if you airbrush out anything that says "Adults Only" or anything to that effect on it. They don't allow you to mosaic out anything; though once again if you crop the picture just before the offending part(s) they will leave your auction alone.

Now, the musing. This kind of blanket policy in regards to anything is the proverbial throwing the baby out with the bath water. For example, back in 1997, a friend of mine got me anime (the first Tenchi movie) for a birthday present, which inspired me to start collecting the series. Finding a Suncoast that would sell it to me at the age of 17 was difficult, though, since almost every one I visited had "Must Be 18 or Over to Purchase" stickers on every title - even on titles with absolutely no content that could be justifiably deemed "offensive" to those not of legal age. I eventually just enlisted the help of an older sister to get what I was going after.

The irony of this is that when I turned 18, virtually every Suncoast in the area dropped that blanket policy.

What the..... (2, Interesting)

Tha_Big_Guy23 (603419) | about 12 years ago | (#4521924)

Okay, so I can go on Ebay, and buy these [] , but I can't buy a burned CD-R of an indie band's music?

Where's the sense in that?

Vigilante Corporations (5, Insightful)

bay43270 (267213) | about 12 years ago | (#4521926)

More and more modern law is allowing (and sometimes encouraging) any corporation to be come a vigilante. In this case, it's obvious that Ebay has the right to deny service to any customer they please. What's disturbing is that the government is encouraging companies to adopt policies that turn that right of denial of service into the noose used to hang the guilty (as well as the 'likely guilty'). We can blame the RIAA all we want, but ultimately, the government (through action or inaction) is allowing these types of things to happen every day now.

Re:Vigilante Corporations (3, Insightful)

Brian_Ellenberger (308720) | about 12 years ago | (#4522109)

any corporation to be come a vigilante. In this case, it's obvious that Ebay has the right to deny service to any customer they please

How is a corporation being a "vigilante" by merely regulating the conduct of its own business? EBay is not breaking into people's home and beating them for trading pirated CD's. Nor are they aren't slipping viruses into pirated software sold on EBay.

Of course they have the right to deny service to *their* marketplace based on *their* policies. You claim something about this being "modern" law, but please direct me back to a time when a business wasn't able to police itself?

A blanket policy saying EBay cannot deny the right to service is quite a statement. So what happens if a serial killer wants to sell human flesh soup online? Or someone starts pimping 12 year old girls? Are they allowed to deny service to people posting fradulant auctions?

And your an idiot if you think government regulation is going to "make it all better". If the government gets in there, the regulation is going to be FAR FAR more restrictive. If the government gets in there EBay will have to start having age-checks and mature-warnings for CDs and video games in the name of "protecting children".

EBay made a mistake. Big Deal. It is darn hard policing thousands upon thousands of auctions.

Brian Ellenberger

Indiscriminate Copyright Bots at work? (2, Interesting)

HealYourChurchWebSit (615198) | about 12 years ago | (#4521935)

Okay, let me understand this. Lets say I create a set of Christmas Jingles using something like Cakewalk Sonar [] .. or better yet, one of several Linux based multi-track recording tools. Then burn my tunes with something like [] Nero [] ... then list it on E-Bay - they're going to pull my ad?

Perhaps this is a result of an indiscriminate Copyright Bot [] as described by Tennessee Law professor, Glenn Reynolds [] ?

Misguided and frustrated musician doesn't get it.. (-1, Troll)

HappyWithKilts (573874) | about 12 years ago | (#4521946)

Here is a summary.

Guy gets pissed because ebay set up to auto-remove auctions of CD-Rs for obvious reasons. Guy trying to sell hasn't the wit to change his description to plain CD.

Move along. Nothing here.

Parent poster doesn't get it.. (4, Informative)

tomblackwell (6196) | about 12 years ago | (#4522062)

If you advertise on Ebay that you are selling a CD, then ship a CD-R, the purchase might (quite justifiably) accuse you of misrepresenting what you've sold, and give you negative feedback.

Re:Misguided and frustrated musician doesn't get i (2, Informative)

joshsisk (161347) | about 12 years ago | (#4522117)

If you sell it as a plain CD, you are lying to your customers. Many older CD players will not play CD-Rs.

The same thing happened to me, but with pictures (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4521948)

I've taken pictures of myself and my girlfriend doing, shall we say, downright dirty things. I burned all the pictures on to CDRs and tried to sell them on eBay. Only a few hours passed before they were removed. eBay had a problem with me selling pictures on CDR, citing probable copyright infringement. I created a new username, and resubmitted the auction, this time making no mention of the fact that the media was in fact CDR. The auction then went through fine. Unfortunately, I had to start from zero with feedback ratings and everything. I guess I probably should have fought eBay more over this.

Ebay's odd about things. (5, Informative)

dave-fu (86011) | about 12 years ago | (#4521960)

I work with a guy who was unable to sell his Apex DVD player on Ebay because the MPAA got all in a tizzy saying that people were modifying the players to be region-free yadda yadda yadda. The fact that he advertised it as an "original, unmodified" version meant nothing and Ebay repeatedly put the kibosh on his auctions even though he had talked to "customer service" and explained that this was an unmangled off-the-shelf model.
So he gave up trying to sell it and burned the mod disk and now he can't stop raving about the import DVDs he can watch. I'm bitter because Breakin', Breakin' 2, Beat Street, Rappin', The Best Of Weird Weekends and all other sorts of DVDs I'd love to buy will likely never be released stateside.
And still the pirates march on on Ebay; pirates keep on doing their thing without being hassled by the man while people who do things by the book get fucked. I love intellectual "property" law.

free publicity (2, Redundant)

leek (579908) | about 12 years ago | (#4521962)

He should open his own store on his web site, and use all of his publicity against eBay to increase sales. He should have opened his store right before publicizing the eBay incident, so that the publicity would maximize his sales.

Terminology (2)

theRhinoceros (201323) | about 12 years ago | (#4521963)

I applaud this guy for standing up to eBay; while this is one of the least of their offenses (their staggering disregard to fraud their foremost), it's good to find somebody who will at least muster up some popular sentiment against being treated impersonally.

That being said, he could have saved himself a lot of trouble by just not using the term CD-R. It's clear that the terminology is where eBay's mental scripts are breaking, and not just in one person at thier end, and so rather than make eBay overhaul their (admittedly overly simplistic) mental algorithms (yes, I know that he said he had copyright, but their rules probably had lots of "Cover The Company's And Your Own Ass" built into them), it would've made sense to said "New Indie CD on sale" and make no mention that one side of the CD happens to be blue.

Smarter Musicians (3, Interesting)

kyoko21 (198413) | about 12 years ago | (#4521968)

If musicians start getting smarter about how to promote and sell their music, they would figure that they could easily buy a CDFactory the burns CDs and they can cut out their record label and I bet they could easily sell their records for much less and probablly still make more money because there wouldn't be anyone in the middle to take away from their profits.

can't buy this kind of publicity (5, Insightful)

Brian Boitano (514508) | about 12 years ago | (#4521976)

he might come out better off - I would certainly never have heard of him if he hadn't been rejected by ebay =]

Jury Duty (3, Insightful)

jazman_777 (44742) | about 12 years ago | (#4522005)

Let's hope these "you're guilty, period" employees never "serve" on a jury.

Paying for customer service (2, Insightful)

vmxeo (173325) | about 12 years ago | (#4522020)

I hate to say this, but you get what you pay for. Sure EBay's a cheap way to sell items, but the sheer volume of auctions (and complaints) means EBay's only going to pay for a large room of trained monkeys following a step-by-step script for customer service.(That's assuming management wants to spend the extra money to train the monkeys)
1. Does the auction sell organs or living tissue? [press here]
2. Is the auction selling any material deemed offensible by the French government? [press here]
3. Does the auction include any CD-R media[press here] (which fires off an automated email, de-lists the auction, etc.)

Its a quantity over quality approach. If you want better customer service, expect to have to pay more to sell your product.

Learn to state your case clearly (5, Informative)

jdavidb (449077) | about 12 years ago | (#4522035)

I sympathize with the man completely, but I wish he didn't let himself get sidetracked so easily. I would have sent a letter back that clearly and simply stated:

Your policy says CD-R's can only be sold by the copyright holder and only if the seller indicates this in the description. I am the copyright holder of the music on these CD's and clearly said so in my description, but you have removed my auctions. You have made this mistake twice. Please give me some assurances that I can sell my music in accordance with your policy without having my actions removed. Thank you.

I hate not being able to get a human to talk to me. He's frustrated enough from having them remove his auctions after a cursory glance that didn't even check to see if he followed their policy, and not being able to find someone who will talk to him about it makes it worse.

I also think his "can't sell this on ebay" logo is invalid; that would violate the right of first sale, wouldn't it; the right to resell anything you have bought? Part of fair use, last I checked.

Odd, really. (5, Insightful)

AugstWest (79042) | about 12 years ago | (#4522039)

I've vontacted them many times about people selling pirated MST3K videos ("Keep Circulating the Tapes" doesn't mean you can charge for them), even of episodes that Rhino and BBI has for sale.

Their answer is always "The copyright owner must contact us. Please alert them and have them get in touch with us."

I guess the same thing doesn't apply to music for some reason.

Internet street singer (3, Insightful)

Ektanoor (9949) | about 12 years ago | (#4522051)

Frankly, this guy is just an Internet street singer... No offense. Some street singers are pretty good and even some had sometimes a chance to go into the "official" music arena.

But as with street singers, he's got trouble with the police patrols (in this case the uber-careful eBay). So they kick him, spread his meager cents all over the street and hint him to "get outta here". They don't wanna know if he's good or bad. They don't care for his music. They just wanna see the street looking antiseptic, wax shinny and without a single stain on it. For who? I don't know. Maybe they are worried about its nostalgic clients who dream to see the colors of the III Reich again?

Combating Misuse of the DMCA (2, Interesting)

Qzukk (229616) | about 12 years ago | (#4522057)

If we're going to continue living under the weight of the DMCA, etc. we are going to need a law to combat the misuse (intentional or not) of it.

It would be nice to be able to disbar any lawyer claiming to represent the copyright holder of a given item, when in fact they don't. That would put a stop to some of the stories I've heard about unchecked computerized searches for infringing content. It would be especially nice to make attempting to extort money for the same a criminal fraud offence.

It would also be nice that if someone tells an ISP to remove infringing content, only to have it turn out to be not-infringing, they should have to pay the ISP for their time and effort, and they should have to pay damages to the owner of the removed site.

The obvious solution... (1)

sunking2 (521698) | about 12 years ago | (#4522065)

If you want to sell albums, sell out to a major label. If you don't want to do this then you should not expect to have an easy road ahead of you. After all, that is their business and like it or not they are pretty damned good at it. What ever happened to peddling your album on a street corner? Is that too much work and can't be done sitting in bed in your underwear?

The world is not black and white, sometimes mistakes are made. It's life. Of course, by throwing a big hissy fit he has managed to get more exposure than in his wildest dreams. How artistic.

Probably not entirely employee's faults... (2, Insightful)

tolarianacademy (580638) | about 12 years ago | (#4522067)

In my experience, it's cheaper for an employer to higher an moron, and tell him EXACTLY what to do in clear black and white words (like no cd-r music) than to hire someone with a little more potential and tell them to use their best judgement. Employees have minimum quotas, and employers want minimum liability. You can see where I'm going with this so there's no need to continue...

The real deal .. (2, Funny)

mustangdavis (583344) | about 12 years ago | (#4522071)

despite the fact that many indie bands burn their own music to CD-R to sell it

Don't get me wrong ... I think that people should be allowed to sell their music recoreded on a CD-R on Ebay if they want to, but don't the people selling this music owe it to their customers to do a little better??

Seriously, if I'm going to pay for music, I want a real CD ... and maybe a nice jewel case and cover. IF musicians want to sell their product on Ebay in order to make some money, would it really hurt them to invest a little money into their product? It doesn't cost that much to have real CDs produced ... and since we live in a world that revolves around marketing, wouldn't it help these small bands to produce a product that people will be able to remember (not just the music, but the CD cover as well??)

Just my two cents ...

flawed assumption (2, Insightful)

brokeninside (34168) | about 12 years ago | (#4522128)

Burning music on CDR is not mutually exclusive with a nice jewel case and cover.

If the CDR comes with a printed label in a jewel case with a J card and with liner notes, would you really notice that it was burned on a CDR.

Also, having "real" CDs burned is only economical for orders that number in the thousands or above when compared with CDR.

Artificial (-1, Troll)

sebastian_proteus (544725) | about 12 years ago | (#4522076)

Artificial inteligence is artificial. And so is the human one sometimes.

a worse example (5, Interesting)

Graspee_Leemoor (302316) | about 12 years ago | (#4522107)

As others have noted, Ebay has a blanket policy of no CDRs, even though they themselves point out that there are CDRs you can sell that do not infringe copyright.

My worse example is that I tried to sell an import copy of final fantasy 9 on ebay. (I am in the UK and this was the US version).

I basically stated that this was a US PS1 disc and you couldn't play it unless you had a US or chipped console.

So they pulled my auction, stating that I was "encouraging console chipping" to play (original) imports, which Sony had told them was illegal.

They said it would be OK to resubmit the auction if I made no mention of chipping, but I felt disinclined to walk the thin line between stating something they felt was encouraging evil crime and on the other hand not giving people enough information, so they'd complain when they couldn't play it. (I have had people in the US for example buy PAL videos from me and be mystified as to why they can't play them).


Musicians unite! (2, Interesting)

comic-not (316313) | about 12 years ago | (#4522114)

I wouldn't be too surprised if it was some RIAA-paid instance who's intentionally fingering these CD-R sellers as thieves as a means to suppress their usage of the distribution channel, because if a large part of musicians found out that the scheme works, what would RIAA do (answer: shrivel up).

As a countermeasure, the musicians should create a union of their own and put up one big web auction site for the sole purpose of selling their own music, under their own supervision. This way,

  • they can cut out the middle men
  • get guaranteed exposure
  • get rid of accusations of piracy
  • and if they do it properly, they can be the ones to lead the society to the era of digital distribution of music

Abolish copyright and this won't be problem qjkx (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4522126)

Ebay only wants to avoid lawsuits. Abolish copyrights, and there will be no problem selling whatever cds you want. Abolish.
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