Are Backup Cpoies Illegal or do they Infringe Copyright

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I have seen over the past few months a massive increase in the amount of items that are being sold on ebay that are being portraid as genuine Legal 'Backup' copies of the item and that in order to purchase it you need to own the origional. If your like me and you thought 'Wow I could cash in here' well a BIG word of warning to both sellers and buyers of these goods.

US and UK Copyrights clearly state that reproduction and distribution of goods that are defined as Copyrighted is Illegal and serious action can and will be taken against those that break that law. However the sellers that have gone against this are using what they think is a loop hole in the law. Its not a loop hole at all and what their doing is illegal.

The laws in both countrys say that as the owner of an item (lets say a Software Program) you are entitled to make a backup or archival copy of the program for your own use. If you then go on to sell your Software program second hand you MUST destroy or sell the backup copy to remain within the law.

By selling these backup copies on Ebay sellers are clearly breaching copyright as they are not selling the origional along with the backup copy. Plus they are making way more than one copy to sell on to people. By buying the item the buyer is also comiting an offence.

The UK is changing and the laws along with it, recent years have seen the Trading Standards Department working closely with the Police in setting up units designed at targetting organised copyright and bootleg crime. I can see in the future Ebay being remotely monitored by privately run security companies and patterns will emerge identifying those responsible for these crimes.

Ebay is and always will be a fantastic place to 'swap sell and trade' but those that seek to ruin it for the genuine people out there are doing just that. Its all to often that highly priced items outside of the ebay arena are sold for mere pounds or pence in ebay.

My advice - Check the seller is genuine. If your offered the Backup copy look elsewhere. Only by not giving these people business will they get fed up and leave.

Happy ebaying!


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