Software makers may sue eBay

Tired of being "stiff-armed" by eBay, the Software and Information Industry Association is signaling its ready to sue over pirated software sales on the dominant online auction site, PC World reports.SIIA has offered eBay several suggestions for stemming the sale of pirated software on its site, but the auction giant has rejected most of those ideas, said Keith Kupferschmid, senior vice president of the SIIA's antipiracy division.

Tired of being "stiff-armed" by eBay, the Software and Information Industry Association is signaling its ready to sue over pirated software sales on the dominant online auction site, PC World reports.

SIIA has offered eBay several suggestions for stemming the sale of pirated software on its site, but the auction giant has rejected most of those ideas, said Keith Kupferschmid, senior vice president of the SIIA's antipiracy division. "We are at our last straw here," Kupferschmid said Friday. "If eBay continues to stiff-arm us ... then we will certainly consider litigation as an option."

Chief among the ideas: end one-day and buy-it-now auctions of software, which would "go a long way toward addressing most of our concerns," Kupferschmid said.

Tiffany's lost a recent suit against eBay based on trademark infringement, but the SIIA would proceed under a secondary copyright infringement theory, Kupferschmid said.

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) of 1998 and other copyright law sets out strong standards for secondary copyright infringement, Kupferschmid said. U.S. copyright law allows lawsuits for vicarious infringement, when the defendant has the ability to stop infringing activity and has a direct financial interest in the infringement.

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