Choose the quote that was actually attributed to a leading business magazine:
- â€œIf Ford shoulders too much of the burden, its ability to wring a profit from the sales of cars with easily-ignited gas tanks could be compromised,â€ wrote BusinessWeek.
- â€œIf the financial institutions shoulder too much of the burden, their ability to wring a profit from the fees and interest generated by money laundering could be compromised,â€ wrote BusinessWeek.
- â€œIf the Web companies shoulder too much of the burden, their ability to wring a profit from the sales or the advertising that appears alongside the commerce [in counterfeit goods] could be compromised,â€ wrote BusinessWeek.
Did you guess? Somehow I missed this:
The Swiss luxury watchmaker Rolex has lost an eight-year legal battle in Germany against eBay, the online auctioneer, over fake Rolex watches allegedly sold by third parties on eBayâ€™s Web site, report a number of business press outlets, including Bloomberg News. . . .
The Feb. 24 German court ruling said eBay had removed counterfeit watches, was actively monitoring for flagrant trademark violations posted on it, and that Rolex couldnâ€™t show that additional fake Rolexes were offered on eBay, after Rolex learned of the alleged sales, reported business media. A court spokesman was quoted in those reports as saying that eBay didnâ€™t have to review every item posted on its site, â€œbecause it would jeopardize the whole business model.â€
â€œIf the Web companies shoulder too much of the burden, their ability to wring a profit from the sales or the advertising that appears alongside the commerce could be compromised,â€ wrote BusinessWeek.
What is the logic here? It’s okay to commit a tort, or tortiously contribute to it, because preventing the harm done — while technologically and administratively possible — could be expensive and upset your business?
Why is such reasoning applied to only trademark counterfeiting?
Why is eBay entitled to a presumption of staying in business, but asbestos manufacturers aren’t?
The problem for Tiffany is that American courts are simply flabby on this issue: They are easily swayed by the argument that it’s “just too hard” for eBay to “police” a million zillion auctions. “Just too hard,” though, really means “just too expensive” — but does eBay has a constitutional right to a billion dollars in profits on over $6 billion in revenues? . . .
There is no reason under that law that eBay should be allowed to profit so profoundly from creating a market in counterfeits, including a piece of the action for every sale of a fake that takes place.