The eBay VeRO program has been developed to protect the rights of the owners of an intellectual property and to minimize the risk of fraudulent usage of items that infringe on the copyright acts. VeRO is the acronym for “Verified Rights Owner Program” and has been put in place to put a stop to selling illegal items and handle copyright related issues more effectively. eBay was one of the pioneers to adopt the online process that aims to protect the rightful owner of a product, and also to develop a system that would allow the owner to report any kind of infringement noted on the Website.
eBay is a platform that allows anyone to sell anything online. Such a popular online market place is prone to the guiles and greed of unscrupulous sellers who may want to violate copyright and ownership rights to ensure that they are able to sell products that they do not own any rights over. If one has to open a store in the real world, he/she has to follow rules and go through processes to ensure that there is no infringement on the rights of the owners of an intellectual property.
The virtual world, on the other hand, during its inception, provided a relatively easy way for sellers to sell any product that they could lay their hands on. As eBay grew in popularity as one of the premier Websites handling diverse product offerings, it became extremely important for eBay to ensure that owners’ rights were not violated and that there were systems to validate verified rights.
The Benefits Of The Verified Rights Owner Program:
The VeRO program has been devised specifically to provide the rights’ owners with the following benefits:
The Process Of Participation And Creation Of About Me Page
The process of participating in the program is simple and fast. All that a rights’ owner has to do is to download the Notice of Claimed Infringement (NOCI) form and fax it to eBay. After eBay processes the first complaint, eBay emails a soft copy of the form, along with instructions on how to submit the form electronically in the future. A rights’ owner can create an About Me page on eBay to specify the products that he owns and the intellectual property rights owned by him so that the channel of communication with the other eBay sellers is open, clear and transparent. After posting the About Me page, an email to eBay will ensure that it is included in the list of VeRO Participant About Me pages. All this is free and for the benefit of the rights owner.
Tips For Sellers Regarding The eBay Vero Program
If a seller finds himself delisted from eBay, he may follow the following steps:
Is The eBay Vero Program Scaring Away Sellers?
There is a lot of miscommunication pertaining to the eBay VeRO program. The program has been devised to protect the rights’ owners and, at the same time, create a fair and transparent platform for the buyers and sellers to interact. However, small-time and some of the bigger sellers on eBay believe that VeRO is against them, since all it takes is a simple form from the rights’ owners to get them delisted without any prior warning. Moreover, the emails that are sent out informing them about the delisting are generic emails with no particular information regarding the details of the delisting. Most of the sellers think that the issues of verified rights and information infringement are used against them at the whims of the rights’ owners without giving them an opportunity to defend their case prior to delisting.
Sellers also believe that there is a process of random or selective targeting by rights owners as many other similar sellers are untouched and they are allowed to carry on with their business. Sellers are unhappy with the option given by eBay in such situations because of the explanations and the options as mentioned below:
All of these points seem to be heavily loaded against sellers, and they believe that eBay stays away by pitting the rights’ owner and the alleged offender against one another. As a service provider, sellers think eBay should take more proactive steps to ensure that the interests of the sellers are also protected. Sellers stipulate that since the general perception amongst online buyers is that eBay is a platform to purchase discounted materials, the brand owners are adverse to the display of their items on eBay, as it directly pits their mainstream product line with the ones sold via eBay. Therefore, delisted sellers think the rights’ owners deliberately use the eBay VeRO program to counter cannibalization of their product.
The sellers on eBay think that it becomes extremely difficult for them to sell anything at all since they are not the rights’ owners and anything used by them to advertise their product-be it an image or any logo will come under the purview of infringement of intellectual property. Therefore most of the sellers are bound to not use any brand names and instead have to rely on scanned invoices to prove the realness of their items on display. Many DVD sellers are often caught by the eBay VeRO program, as most of the sellers list the items prior to the commercial release dates as the products reach the customer way after the release happens. Many buyers also like to keep the original cartons or packages of products manufactured by premium brands. But the sellers who offer the original packaging are often caught off-guard by the stringent intellectual property infringement laws and are therefore promptly delisted.
Is The eBay Vero Program Beneficial For Everybody?
The simple answer is “No.” The sellers must understand that the emphasis is on transparency and making the selling process on eBay legal. However, if they follow the policies and abide by clauses mention on the About Me pages maintained by the rights of owners, selling products within the laws should not be difficult. A large number of people are running profitable businesses through eBay by following the rules and one must appreciate the fact that weeding out spurious sellers and sellers of counterfeit products is for the benefit of everyone. If a customer gets a good product without any hassles, he is bound to use eBay again for shopping. But in case the shopping experience is bad, he will turn away and visit other similar e-commerce based websites to buy the products of his choice. That would be bad news for the rights’ owners, the sellers and also for eBay.
However, like every process, the eBay VeRO program is not free from errors and a seller may even be delisted by mistake. In such a case, the seller must take up the issue with the rights’ owner and also with eBay, create a trail of communication and try to make the other person see their side. If your line of logic is proper and well defined, then there is every reason for you to believe that your concerns would be addressed and you would be relisted back on eBay.
The bottom line is that in today’s era of Internet-based transactions, the number of illegitimate traders has shot up exponentially. Premier sites such as eBay must ensure that their services are being used by genuine sellers who are not scam artists out to dupe customers and in the process tarnish the brand image of eBay. eBay is a seller friendly and a customer-friendly site that offers a platform for everyone to do business. If a seller is genuine and respects the rights of the owners, he should have no problems in carrying out his business. Even if he faces unjust persecution, proper systems are in place for him to have his grievances addressed. The onus lies on eBay to ensure that the sellers do not get unduly harassed, as sellers are the backbone of eBay. eBay would do well to mention the specific reasons behind a delisting, as well as employ internal and external auditors to review a delisting, so that there is more clarity and transparency in the entire process.