The continuing struggle over protecting copyright, preventing product and intellectual property piracy, and illegal sales on the Internet has intensified this week.

“A French court on Monday ordered online auctioneer eBay to pay nearly 40 million euros ($63 million) in damages to Louis Vuitton for selling fake luxury goods,…” reported AFP.

In addition, the court also barred eBay from selling certain products, issued a cease and desist order barring eBay from running ads for certain products, and imposed a daily fine for noncompliance.

Obviously this ruling, if upheld, will change the face of eBay and all online auction sites. It will force eBay to be more responsible in evaluating the sellers who use the online giant, and compel them to put in place safeguards to ensure the products sold are original and that the sellers have a legitimate right to sell those products.

Here at Palo Alto Software we are keenly aware of the problem of “stolen” goods being sold online. We regularly challenge eBay auction/seller pages which are selling pirated copies of our software products, and/or are selling the content from our products or from our website network.

Our customer care team gets calls all the time from people complaining that they just paid good money for a sample business plan which we provide free of charge on our business-planning resource site,, or as content within our Business Plan Pro software.

This means, because of the thieves, costs of goods will go up, costs for selling on eBay will go up as well, and the customer will, in the end, pay more as well.

As an entrepreneur, you won’t want your product ripped-off, so don’t you go buying the shady deal either. If the deal looks too good to be true, it probably is. If you want the real product, support your fellow businesses, and buy from a legitimate source.

Steve Lange
Senior Editor
Palo Alto Software