No more bids from the EU

From: Hans Franke <>
Date: Mon Nov 15 09:16:50 2004

Am 3 Nov 2004 19:50 meinte Joe R.:
> At 05:32 PM 11/3/04 -0500, you wrote:
> >Well, it looks like I won't be able to accept bids from the EU anymore:
> >

> Interesting. Looks like I will have to stop selling to Germany at least.
> Too bad I've sold a lot of stuff to the Germans and I've never had a
> problem (except LONG delays in customs). This was a German court ruling.
> Does it apply to the other EU countries?

Well, first of all, it wasn't exactly the ruling of the 'a German civil
court' as the Register states, but rather the Bundesgerichtshof, which
happens to be the highest civil and criminal court, so it's binding for
all German courts.

The Law cited itself is barely more than the incooperation of an EU law
into German books. Furthermore it concerns only remote B2C transactions
(mail order). And gives the customer a right to cancel any remote sales
contract within a given time without further reasoning (aka if you're an
eskimo and some telemarketer talked you into a new fridge, you may cancel
it as soon as your mind is back to normal ... but then again, with all
the global warming going on, it might be wise to look ahead)

Last but not least, the ruling was less about this law, but rather if
eBay is to be seen an auction (and therefore it would be extempted from
the this law), or just as some kind of market place where buyers and
sellers come together and do business on their own.

The court did go for later argument, since a) eBay is not involved in
the transaction itself and b) that the 'Acception of Tender' is not
done by a licenced auctioneer.

Now, the ruling has of course no effect on all private eBaying, nor does
it imply anything for Sellers outside the EU.

In fact the court did only maintain a position it already showed in
several other cases about online auctions. For example there where at
least two decisions that defined online autions as a way of legal
contract findeing and more important as legal binding. So if some
jerks push up the price of a ZX81 to 5 Grand, and don't want to pay,
the seller could sue the highest bidder. Of course it works also the
other way arround - if you get a Twiggy Lisa 1 for EUR 1, the seller
has to deliver :)

Another important ruling was that eBay (and similar services) are not
responsible for copyright or trademark infrogment by their customers
(unless they get informed). This put's online auctions at about the
same legal level as for example the classifed sections of a newspaper.

Anyway, to my opinion it's another good ruling to keep eBay clean.

And yes, it may have implication for other EU countries, and the EU
court might overrule it, but I doubt that.

VCF Europa 6.0 am 30.April und 01.Mai 2005 in Muenchen
Received on Mon Nov 15 2004 - 09:16:50 GMT

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