What it is: eBay's half-assed answer to the Digital Millennium
What it is not: Fair to legitimate sellers.
Why it's there: eBay (and every other site, store, etc.) has
the legal obligation to remove listings and items for sale that are
What's wrong with VERO: Your auction can be taken down by
anyone - your competition, someone you've ticked off - anyone.
The most common VERO abuse: Basically
a scammer sends in a "sworn statement" /
affidavit stating that they are the legal representative of, or are
the copyright holder for items xxx. ANYONE can send this in. The
VERO program is abused, misused, and is the poster child for
everything that can go wrong with a brainless response to the
copyright and trademark infringement law.
I can send in a
statement that I own the rights to an item my competition is selling
on eBay, then have their auctions yanked, and possibly get my
competition banned from eBay. I would be lying and committing
perjury, but eBay performs no verification or follow-up. I can get
away with anything! eBay also provides no recourse for sellers that
are the victims of this crime - and make no mistake - it is a crime,
one that eBay gladly helps support and appears to actively endorse.
That's the primary misuse - and use - of VERO. Google it.
Next: Overzealous lawyers knowingly committing perjury by
having legitimate auctions pulled. Example: Becker books published
by DeVry. See VERO Scammers page.
My guess - any if you do any research you'll see it's true,
around 75% of all VERO complaints are false. That's
Legitimate uses: The remaining 25% of VERO complaints could be
considered legit. But the copyright holders could have first sent an eMail to the seller instead of complaining to VERO. Examples: A book
I wrote was being sold on eBay in CD version as a PDF file. I asked
the seller to stop selling the item and explained that I was the
author and copyright holder. He pulled the item. No need to
Another example: I received a call and email from a company
explaining that some manuals I had listed on eBay were illegal copies. Yea,
right I thought.
I received these manuals as a settlement from a
Scuba store (see their logo at right) that
owed me over $2500. They could not afford to pay the bill and were
going out of business. I took the books in trade. Guess
what? They were illegal knock-offs! I had no way of knowing this and
was basically screwed. I could not even go after the company that
gave me the books because they were out of business! What was
even worse - the lawyer that contacted me had first contacted the owner
of the business that closed up. Bernie, the business owner, stated that he had never given me
any books, or made any copies of the books for resale. Talk about a
bold faced lie - they even sold them in their stores!
I was pissed off that I had to close the auctions - 45 in
total, and was out almost $2000 (I had sold many of the books
The lawyer could have filed multiple VERO complaints first. Instead he
contacted me and the matter was taken care of without involving the
Thought Police over at the eBay Kremlin.
So who does use
VERO? Mostly knee-jerk reacting clueless idiots. Perhaps 5% of the complaints
need to go through VERO because some sellers are just as dumb
as a box of rocks and will not stop selling knock-offs. They deserve
to get banned. The rest? Innocent victims.
Can you fight VERO?