OT: Online auctins an institution?

From: Eric Smith <eric_at_brouhaha.com>
Date: Mon Dec 21 13:28:32 1998

I wrote:
> As soon as you start trying to do anything with the results (like sell them),
> eBay (or whoever) will be quick to point out that they own the data, and you
> aren't allowed to use it for commercial purposes without a license.

Hans replied:
> They don't own the data. Data is still not owned by anybody. As
> soon as a specific fact is published, it is free to be used. What
> they own is the copyright to _their_ reprensentation of this data
> on in _their_ publications. So everybody is free to read the final
> prices of eBay items and compile a list (or book). You don't need
> any 'licence' to use them, as long as the compilaton is your work
> and not taken without further rework other than beautifying.

Maybe in Germany. In the US, Congress just keeps making copyright law worse
and worse, with the supposed justification of bringing us into 'compliance'
with the rest of the world. The actual purpose is to make it easier for
large businesses to turn a quick buck, and small businesses and consumers
be damned.

There most certainly are companies that claim ownership of raw data, and there
in not yet enough established case law in this area. Some of the courts have
ruled in favor of plaintifs in these cases.
Received on Mon Dec 21 1998 - 13:28:32 GMT

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