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Leela Sote
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Ebay purchase...
« on: Jun 15th, 2007, 9:50pm »
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So I just got an email through ebay from a user saying that he is the CEO of this company that produces these books... I recently purchased a pdf version of this book from ebay. I first asked the seller if this was a paper version of the book, as the price was fairly cheap, and he told me it was the pdf version. I said okay and paid for it, and got a download link, which I downloaded from. I just rechecked the book and the pages where it usually gives the spill about how electronic version of this shouldn't be distributed and stuff wasn't anywhere in the pdf I got... but every page did have that (c) copyrighted to___ thing...
 
Now, the email pretty much says that what I purchased from this seller was an illegalv ersion and im possibly a part of a felony now... and since they're not a huge company, they really take copyright stuff fully and that I should contact the office of this company ASAP to "clarify" my role in this case. They only have informal info about involved people so far and once htey get a bigger list, they're going to pursue actions to "fullest extent of law" but that those who voluntarily cooperated in the issue will be "spared" in the pursuit of justice.
 
First question being, this can't really be a scam right, trying to make me cough up stuff voluntarily? I'm guesisng the only reason I got this through the ebay member message is because ebay didnt release our personal emails... Secondly, if I do contact the company, what'll most likely happen? Will I get series of questionnaires and serious lawsuit involvement? Will I most likely be considered "guilty" in this process? How should I feel about the phrases about me being part of a felony but then again if I "voluntarily" cooperate I "will be spared"... and what would the "clarify"ing involve??
 
Someone please give me some information as I'm new to this copyright involvement  Embarassed
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Leela Sote
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Re: Ebay purchase...
« Reply #1 on: Jun 15th, 2007, 9:52pm »
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Oh, also, should I consider calling them first thing tomorrow morning, and if they're closed on weekends, first thing Monday morning??
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mactheknife
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Posts: 110
Re: Ebay purchase...
« Reply #2 on: Jun 16th, 2007, 7:05am »
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The only people who could prosecute you for criminal copyright infringement are the feds.  Not only do they have better things to do, there is an element of willfulness in criminal copyright cases that doesn't seem to exist here.  I wouldn't be too worried about a "felony."  You could be subject to a civil lawsuit though.  
 
My advice would be, talk to a lawyer.  In person.  Before you do anything or call anyone else about this.  You might not have to respond to the "CEO" at all.  Take a look at this list--these are people who are experienced in defending regular people in copyright lawsuits, if you are near any of them.  There are also a couple of attorneys who post here who might chime in.
« Last Edit: Jun 16th, 2007, 7:08am by mactheknife » IP Logged
leela sote
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Re: Ebay purchase...
« Reply #3 on: Jun 16th, 2007, 9:30am »
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Actually, I'm not near any of those listed... so you think I should see a lawyer before doing any of this? Is that because you think this may be a false warning or because you think I have a good chance of being seriously involved with the case and ending up with a criminal record?
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still_studying
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Re: Ebay purchase...
« Reply #4 on: Jun 16th, 2007, 1:13pm »
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I'd be concerned about two things.  (1) The seller in effect scammed you by selling illegal merchandise, so you should demand a refund, and involve EBay in this (IMHO this also goes toward showing you are an innocent victim);  and (as you already suggested) (2) I'd be wondering if the "publisher" is merely a scam artist hoping to extort money out of you in exchange for "not pursuing charges".
 
I don't think much of EBay -- I got defrauded once, and EBay not only did nothing to help, they even removed the negative feedback I left on the seller -- but at the very least, you might be able to find out whether they've been contacted by the people who are messaging you.
 
Good luck.
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