eBay is a convenient marketplace for many entrepreneurs
because it is free, open, and unregulated.
Bureaucrats hate it for much the same reasons.
So it is only to be expected that they try to undermine it.
Their favoured strategy is to ignore the fact that it is only a place to sell
and to hold the marketplace responsible for what it is sold in it.
Predictably it is a French court which has fined
eBay over sixty million dollars for selling counterfeit goods when it never
actually sold them, when it had no knowledge of them, and when it had no real
way of checking.
This is a dangerous attack on small business and on the
whole principle of free trade.
In a physical marketplace, say in a town square, public
authorities rightly hold a trader responsible for selling counterfeit goods,
but would never fine the market manager as well – not least because the market
management is itself often a public authority!
The double standard is inexcusable.