Amazon's distribution of 1984 based on false statement of ownership
Posted Jul 24, 2009 17:35 UTC (Fri) by giraffedata
In reply to: Amazon's distribution of 1984 based on false statement of ownership
Parent article: The grumpy editor's e-book reader
no, you are not required to do everything that you could do to determine
if what you are buying has been stolen or not.
Your "required" may be different from my "charges with a responsibility." Civil law doesn't define behavior a person must engage in, in that the person is evil and will be punished if he doesn't, with the goal of ridding society of the behavior. It only defines who has to pay when a set of behaviors results in damage. It's about structure, not morals.
Legally speaking, a person is absolutely "required" in most cases to make sure what he is buying isn't stolen, in that if he doesn't, and it's stolen, he is the one who pays, i.e. is the victim of the theft.
if you were you could
never buy anything, and auction sites like e-bay could not exist
(exactly how do you go about proving that _anything_ you buy on e-bay
has not been stolen)
The reason you can buy things and Ebay can exist is that buyers are willing to take the risk (which in the Ebay case is pretty low because even if it's stolen, the owner will almost certainly not find the buyer).
Rest assured that if you bought a million dollar baseball on Ebay and announced to the world that you had it, and the true owner of the baseball could show that it's more likely than not that the baseball was stolen from him at some point, it doesn't matter how hard you tried to make sure the Ebay seller was authorized to sell it, you would have to give the ball back. Remember: the owner didn't do anything "wrong" either. Why should he pay?
to post comments)