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Did I commit copyright infringement even though my Ebay auction was brought down before I sold 1 copy?

New York |

I received an e-mail from the company whose virtual property I was selling. They want $250 settlement or I will have to got o court.

Has their work been infringed even though I did not sell 1 copy?

Also with regards to the firsts ale doctrine, I purchased this off someone and now i am attempting to resell it. Am I protected? The person who I purchased it from was an unauthorized seller. Actually this work is not even sold by the creator.

Thank you for your help.

Attorney Answers 3


  1. It's not clear what "virtual property" you're referring to, but it doesn't sound like your attempted sale was legal. Infringement doesn't require a sale, so whether or not you made a sale is not determinative, although it may impact how much you damaged the owner.

    Only lawful buyers from the copyright owner get the benefit of the first sale doctrine and can dispose of the copy they've bought. It sounds like the work you tried to sell infringed on the actual owner's rights anyway, since the work was not a lawful or unlawful copy but some (illegal) derivative work.

    You should make sure the company has a proper copyright registration to the work they claim you infringed, then make the best deal you can.

    Disclaimer: Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on, since each state has different laws, each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship.


  2. If true, it is possible that your attempt to sell copyrighted material was an infringement. $250 is a reasonable settlement amount given the circumstances.


  3. If true, it is possible that your attempt to sell copyrighted material was an infringement. $250 is a reasonable settlement amount given the circumstances.

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