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Community => Bar Sport => Topic started by: dally on May 12, 2016, 07:31 pm

Title: greatest hit in madness: Copyright claimed on price list
Post by: dally on May 12, 2016, 07:31 pm
my cognitive comprehension is still shocked by what happened on ebay

There's no such thing as an outrageous price, otherwise, by that definition, everything on ebay ever sold was done so at outrageous undercost while everything on dealers ever sold was done so at outrageous overcost

That's a good theory in business, you pay for services, brand, warranty, etc, and you know, an item is only ever worth what someone is willing to pay, amazes me that some people still persist in claiming that somehow items have any kind of objective value.

Anyway sometimes people on ebay are willing to for too outrageous underprice even for ebay standards, and I got tired of so many people moaning about my pricing, just because *they* want stuff to be cheap, while at the same time the same people ask much higher prices themselves when they're trying to sell things. You know, people are willing to attempt underprice when they do their bid, while they are willing to attempt overprice when they fill their auction price.

Consequently I wanted to grab and report in my auction a few lines from the price list of a few dealers, just to compare, and it happened that one of these dealers (which happened to have an account on ebay, they buy from ebay, underpriced, they sell out of ebay, overprices, they call it "profit") claimed they didn't authorized the use of a part of their price list, that was a completely violation of Copyright (so, that it's a new hit for me, never thought one could have the Copyright even on fudge paper) , therefore I got a long talk with ebay's henchmen in black, as result auction first suspended then closed, and It seems I am the black sheep.

oh, and - "it was a question of fairness, not promotion" - I was said, because I was indirectly promoting that mustard captain, and their motivations, briefly summarized in "We don't put mustard on our candy and we have candy for every sweet tooth! Everything from chocolates to gummy cherries and, of course, our delicious homemade fudge, which is made right here in our shop, they don't come from ebay, it's not a bullshit, look, the price is different, thus, to save our cooking recipe along with candy & homemade fudge, we apply the Copyright on the fudge paper where we happen to have our price list"

I can partially understand those guys, the deal was for a unix workstation and their parts, a few of these parts were listed that high (well, for ebay standards) because they said that the last time someone wanted to buy one from them, they had to buy it from an other dealer (yes, there is a pyramidal hierarchy) for over thousand UKP, and their profit on the deal was barely enough for a day's food.

OK, I understand, even if I wonder ... if it happens once, you can justify your overpriced till the end of time?

Anyway, sadly this is why I've been forced to move away somewhat from dealing with SGI stuff in recent years, because I can't get hold of stuff at a cost level that's worthwhile, if it's available at all, and the warranty risks at these cost levels are becoming scary as heck, including these dudes on ebay, who wants things for the price of a chips bag, and those dudes in the middle, who buys from ebay, and sells outside for their profit.

Nothing wrong, but hey? The Copyright on price list appears to be ... a reason to call the special agent Mulder of FBI.
Title: Re: greatest hit in madness: Copyright claimed on price list
Post by: weedpharma on May 13, 2016, 03:07 am
Copyright covers any original work so using the text as written is an breach. Surely a mention of price cannot be copyright.

Maybe a reference to a "major supplier" rather than specific company name.

Weedpharma
Title: Re: greatest hit in madness: Copyright claimed on price list
Post by: ChrisTenone on May 13, 2016, 04:34 am
Do you have written permission from Ten Thirteen Productions to use the phrase "special agent Mulder"?
Title: Re: greatest hit in madness: Copyright claimed on price list
Post by: Etemenanki on May 13, 2016, 09:27 am
Do you have written permission from Ten Thirteen Productions to use the phrase "special agent Mulder"?
He don't need it, cause the correct name is "Moulder", not "Mulder", and the error invalidate the copyright infringement ... ;) :D
Title: Re: greatest hit in madness: Copyright claimed on price list
Post by: dally on May 13, 2016, 10:17 am
the correct name is "Moulder", not "Mulder", and the error invalidate the copyright infringement
Touché, typos can actually save your headache from the court case, like a legal technicality

Corollary: if one injects typos ... well, ebay can't touch

muahahahaah we have a solution :D

Title: Re: greatest hit in madness: Copyright claimed on price list
Post by: dally on May 13, 2016, 09:33 pm
so .. we have apologies from ebay  :)

I got a PM, I guess that, when dudes on ebay came across like a deranged dog on speed, they had absolutely no idea on what the other dude, the seller, was ranting about his/her Copyright (on his/her price list), but to avoid problems, they decided to suspend and close my auction in order have their investigations, and when they understood they were not the police in Los Angeles who is still investigating a knife reportedly found buried on the grounds of Simpson's estate when it was razed ... well, they decided to give me a gift, therefore I got 20 euro of discount on my next purchase on ebay, and up to the 5% of discount if the price is below 100 euro

my cognitive comprehension is still shocked, but that's just fine :D
Title: Re: greatest hit in madness: Copyright claimed on price list
Post by: Coding Badly on May 15, 2016, 01:36 am
Copyright covers any original work so using the text as written is an breach.
The search phrase is "copyright fair use".

Title: Re: greatest hit in madness: Copyright claimed on price list
Post by: weedpharma on May 15, 2016, 03:05 am
What about songs that have a couple of bars similar to another song? This may be only second in time and a small percentage of the total. This has cost $millions to some musicians.  :smiley-confuse:

It may be OK to refer and quote small sections of a work but how much is "fair use"?

Weedpharma
Title: Re: greatest hit in madness: Copyright claimed on price list
Post by: Coding Badly on May 15, 2016, 03:56 am
What about songs that have a couple of bars similar to another song?
Historically, fair use.  The insanity of claiming copyright ownership over snippets of material is fairly new.  Maybe within the last ten years.

The situation is self-correcting.  At some point, Sony will sue Disney who is suing Paramount who is suing Sony over copyright.  The lot of them will realize the only people left making any money are the lawyers.  At that point they will each call their well-bribed federal representative to demand the law be refined.

But, we are not there yet.  And, we have a ways to go before the pendulum turns.

Quote
It may be OK to refer and quote small sections of a work but how much is "fair use"?
For better or worse, that decision is made by juries.  The rest of us just have opinions about the precise location of the line-in-the-sand.

However...
https://www.google.com/search?q=guidelines+for+fair+use (https://www.google.com/search?q=guidelines+for+fair+use)

Title: Re: greatest hit in madness: Copyright claimed on price list
Post by: westfw on May 15, 2016, 08:03 am
I can see copying a price list "verbatim" could be copyright infringement.  It seems a bit obnoxious to complain, but perhaps there is some reason that this is not a common sales tactic...

In the big business world, price lists can be highly proprietary.  After all, the sales force is supposed to negotiate some complex deal with each individual customer.  Competitors prices lists were on the "how to avoid lawsuits" instructions with the "don't ask for it, don't look at it, don't give it to anyone" instructions (it qualifies as industrial espionage, or something.  I dunno; I wasn't a salesperson so it didn't affect me much.)

Title: Re: greatest hit in madness: Copyright claimed on price list
Post by: GoForSmoke on May 15, 2016, 08:47 am
Quote
and you know, an item is only ever worth what someone is willing to pay, amazes me that some people still persist in claiming that somehow items have any kind of objective value.
That seems to be a buyer-centered view.

An object may be sold for less than it's worth but that doesn't make it worth less any more than overpriced junk isn't junk. The BS is in how the market games are played.
Title: Re: greatest hit in madness: Copyright claimed on price list
Post by: Coding Badly on May 15, 2016, 08:58 am
I can see copying a price list "verbatim" could be copyright infringement.
https://www.law.cornell.edu/copyright/cases/197_F3d_1256.htm (https://www.law.cornell.edu/copyright/cases/197_F3d_1256.htm)

If the prices on the list possess a "creative spark" then the list is subject to copyright.

If the prices are copied from others then the list is not.  If the prices are generate by mathematical formula then the list is not.

Assuming I grasp the court's ruling, an essential difference is that CDN tries to predict (guess) what the price should be based on their research and knowledge rather than stating how much money is actually changing hands.  If that is true then a copyright cannot be claimed over a list of actual prices one is asking.  Which means a fleebay price list is fair game.

Yup.  Here it is...
Quote
The prices listed are not mere listings of actual prices paid; rather, they are CDN's best estimate of the fair value of that coin.
Which explains why Best Buy issues DMCA takedowns but does not follow through with lawsuits...
http://arstechnica.com/business/2006/11/8218/ (http://arstechnica.com/business/2006/11/8218/)

Quote
After all, the sales force is supposed to negotiate some complex deal with each individual customer.
From the salespeople I once knew such prices often possess a huge "creative spark" involving an -OH group and a few folks of the opposite sex with questionable moral values.  In any case, "creative spark" leads to a copyright.

Quote
In the big business world, price lists can be highly proprietary. 
"Proprietary" is a also powerful legal beast but separate from "copyright".

Title: Re: greatest hit in madness: Copyright claimed on price list
Post by: Robin2 on May 15, 2016, 12:28 pm
It seems a bit obnoxious to complain,
What if the purpose of copying it was to show that the OP's prices were lower than those on the list?

I don't think this topic is appropriate for this Forum (even in Bar Sport) and I don't think we know enough about the subject to be in a position to express views on it.

...R
Title: Re: greatest hit in madness: Copyright claimed on price list
Post by: dally on May 15, 2016, 01:31 pm
in my ebay auction I wrote

"Just to know the price of a workstation like this:"

followed by a few line of other sellers price list

Code: [Select]

system12 IP30 2xR12@400Mhz 4GB 150GB@15Krpm V12+DCD price xxxx ref xxxxx
system13 IP30 2xR14@600Mhz 4GB 150GB@15Krpm V12+DCD price xxxx rer xxxxx
...


(price and ref=seller/company has been removed, just to exemplify)


ebay has recognized my rights, therefore I am authorized to write a few lines which report other people's public prices without the need to ask them the authorization, I just need to include a ref (web link) to them.

Title: Re: greatest hit in madness: Copyright claimed on price list
Post by: pYro_65 on May 15, 2016, 01:45 pm
I don't think this topic is appropriate for this Forum (even in Bar Sport) and I don't think we know enough about the subject to be in a position to express views on it.
I guess it the OP is asking for opinions, regardless of our expertise. Sometimes its just good to have a rant, and maybe someone can agree with you, or show you where your reasoning was wrong.

I think its fine, as long as everything stays relatively peaceful.

Title: Re: greatest hit in madness: Copyright claimed on price list
Post by: GoForSmoke on May 15, 2016, 01:46 pm
You may create expectations to match other prices by doing so.
They don't have to be true expectations either.

Since ancient times one thing said often enough is "if you can buy it for less elsewhere then go elsewhere".

That cuts a lot of BS without placing onus on the seller. Losing a bad sale isn't a bad idea.
Title: Re: greatest hit in madness: Copyright claimed on price list
Post by: dally on May 15, 2016, 02:35 pm
"if you can buy it for less elsewhere then go elsewhere".
correct, but it was done for comparison purpose

who claimed the copyright infringement is a big dealer in the big business world of refurbished systems, UNIX services, including second hand system, and replacement parts to government agencies. say no less than hundred thousand bucks per year

as far as I understand, he uses to buy things on ebay and on less famous flea bays, he tests them, possibly he repairs them, then, after his considerations on diagnostic and affordability, and he can resell outside ebay, where, according with his price list, the new price will result more expensive by different order of magnitude due to the service and due to the warranty he can offer.

nothing wrong with this, we simply have completely different customers, offering them completely different services

in my case, I was saying something like "hey dudes? are you hobbyists? are you looking for warranty and DOA? I can offer a decent service for less money you would pay from a dealer"

keep in mind I am in the middle between who simply offers the "as is, no DOA, no customization, no warranty", and who can offer these services but within the pricelist of a dealer
Title: Re: greatest hit in madness: Copyright claimed on price list
Post by: dally on May 15, 2016, 03:22 pm
https://www.law.cornell.edu/copyright/cases/197_F3d_1256.htm (https://www.law.cornell.edu/copyright/cases/197_F3d_1256.htm)

If the prices on the list possess a "creative spark" then the list is subject to copyright.

If the prices are copied from others then the list is not.  If the prices are generate by mathematical formula then the list is not.
ebay investigation was about that, prices were copied from others, just 3 of 996 lines were copied and there was no "creative spark", therefore the list was not subjected to copyright.


thank you for the link, it helps to understand in details
Title: Re: greatest hit in madness: Copyright claimed on price list
Post by: dally on May 15, 2016, 03:28 pm
if you can buy it for less elsewhere then go elsewhere
Losing a bad sale isn't a bad idea.
good advice, thanks :D
Title: Re: greatest hit in madness: Copyright claimed on price list
Post by: Boardburner2 on May 15, 2016, 05:32 pm
Sometimes its just good to have a rant,


Totally agree, good rant or kick the dog.

My dog agrees too, and offers his thanks.(wags tail)
Title: Re: greatest hit in madness: Copyright claimed on price list
Post by: dally on May 15, 2016, 10:49 pm
That seems to be a buyer-centered view.

An object may be sold for less than it's worth but that doesn't make it worth less any more than overpriced junk isn't junk.
sure, it's a micro business, I am more a buyer than a seller (70% auctions as buyer, 30% as seller)
so, how do you determine the price ? and what is a reasonable price?


to have a deal, they must be satisfied both

in order to determine the sales price I have also to consider


obviously one aims for maximizing the profit, which also aims for minimizing the costs, on ebay I have to pay fees and taxes to paypal, I have a lot of competitors, most of them are selling untested things, they offer no DOA, no warranty, but the main problem I have is related to customers which want cheap shipping, therefore possibility of breakage during the shipping or because they have no idea about what they are doing. I have to assist them, which costs time and effort, fortunately I have no decay, but, in order to provide 90days of warranty I need to have replacement parts, consequently I can be trapped into "no left-over-stock", which is a cost for me because I have to buy more parts than how many I can sell.
Title: Re: greatest hit in madness: Copyright claimed on price list
Post by: Boardburner2 on May 15, 2016, 11:39 pm
I think that the best idea is to publish a link to the price list rather than copying it.
Pricing has always been a very sensitive issue in the commercial world.

That is why secret shoppers are used for online best deal type sites.
Especially for competitive industries like groceries/computers etc.

The price lists are very jealously guarded.