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Emails threatening legal action re: copyright


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I sold a promo CD on eBay a couple of weeks ago (yeah, I know I shouldn't have). It only went for a tenner or so. The auction was then pulled by eBay. At the exact same time as I received the email from eBay I received an email from a company representing the record company with about 12 or 14 ridiculous things they demanded I do because I'd infringed copyright (one being taking out half-page adverts in the music press apologising!). The email wasn't signed by anyone and was received into my junk email folder. I then received another email threatening legal action. This is just a scare tactic, isn't it? I'm not gonna get sued for selling (or trying to sell) one CD....?

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There is a school of thought that goes that 'promotional' CD's should not be sold, however if there is a market out there for them (and they are in every other respects legitimate) would've nothing to worry about. You have not infringed any copyrights - you bought a piece of circular plastic, and sold that on with no other rights or obligations.


Look at the pile of 'free' newspaper promotional DVD's being sold on eBay and yet people still buy them. As a commodity, the cost of the rights owner being prepared to sue individuals is very slim, unless there have something to prove. If you received good title in receiving the CD to use and enjoy it, then there is no problem with you passing it on as 2nd hand. If you had been selling them by way of trade, this might be more difficult to defend your actions, but as an individual - I seriously doubt it. Anyway, if the auction was pulled you did not receive any financial advantage.


Since the email went to your junk folder. I'd keep it there and await a more formal postal communication before getting too worried.

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Are you sure the email from the record co. is genuine? im thinking it may be some kind of [problem]. ( phishing [problem] ) due to the silly demands.


As far as i know there is no law against selling second hand records.....provided you aquired the recording in a legitimate manner ie; you paid for it.


I would ignore it for the time being, do not reply or follow any links or call any phone numbers in the email.


Report the email to your ISP/email provider, and to EBAY, because you offered the item for sale in good faith.

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