The nerve of some people: Selling OpenOffice on eBay

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The nerve of some people: Selling OpenOffice on eBay

Postby maulgandhi » Mon Nov 02, 2015 2:34 am

I came across this listing on eBay. I couldn't believe what I was seeing. Not only did someone have the nerve to sell digital copies of OpenOffice they were listing it as: 2016-Office-Home-Student-Plus-for-Microsoft-Windows-Mac-Apple-OSX. Moreover, the seller says that he or she is authorized to sell under GLU LGPL. So i am wondering if i should report this seller to ebay.
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Re: The nerve of some people: Selling OpenOffice on eBay

Postby RusselB » Mon Nov 02, 2015 7:53 am

In one word: Yes
It is a violation of E-Bay's Terms and Conditions to make false representation.
As Open Office's licencing allows for free distribution, the person is misrepresenting themselves by stating that they are authorized to sell the software.
Additionally, based upon the title of the listing, as you have reported it, they are also in violation of selling a product that is other than specified.
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Re: The nerve of some people: Selling OpenOffice on eBay

Postby esperantisto » Mon Nov 02, 2015 8:47 am

The matter is that selling free software is legal. Moreover, it is encouraged by FSF. Thus, that seller can hardly be held liable for anything.
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Re: The nerve of some people: Selling OpenOffice on eBay

Postby RusselB » Mon Nov 02, 2015 9:09 am

The matter of whether it is legal to sell free software aside, the listing, as stated in the original post, appears to be a misrepresentation of the software actually being offered.
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Re: The nerve of some people: Selling OpenOffice on eBay

Postby RoryOF » Mon Nov 02, 2015 9:17 am

I fear that engaging in such a battle is a waste of time. Better to emphasise the point that OpenOffice is available free and give the details - we cannot make this information too widely known:

OpenOffice should be downloaded _only_ from
http://www.openoffice.org/download

This site will redirect you to a SourceForge site and your download will start in about five seconds with no need to click on anything else (Do NOT click on anything else).

One can verify that the downloaded file is as it left the code factory by the methods described in
Apache OpenOffice - How to verify the integrity of the downloaded file?

As OO is opensource, many sites manipulate search engines so that they come high on the hit list, and compile OO with unwanted add-ons or charge for it with spurious offers of support.

We recommend downloading only from the above site.
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Re: The nerve of some people: Selling OpenOffice on eBay

Postby keme » Mon Nov 02, 2015 10:20 am

License requirements may be quite convoluted in terms.
As far as I can tell:
  • The current version (3.0) of the GNU LGPL, which should be valid for all the Oracle versions (all 3.x except 3.4) states nothing about either allowing or prohibiting the charging of a fee for transferring a copy of the suite.
  • The previous version of the GNU LGPL stated explicitly that for the service of making the suite available, or assuming support responsibility, it was acceptable to charge a reasonable fee. Not sure which (if any) versions of the suite was licensed under this. However, if I'm right, that there is no mention of this in the newer version, one might assume that the previous requirement carries over by default.
  • The current version of the suite is licensed under the Apache license, which also states that it is acceptable sell the product, or to charge a fee for assuming additional responsibility/liablilty.
So it seems that all relevant licenses allow the sale. There is no case to make on that point.
However, if the seller really redistributes the OpenOffice suite, and really advertises "2016-Office-Home-Student-Plus-for-Microsoft-Windows-Mac-Apple-OSX", there certainly is a misrepresentation, one might reasonably expect from that wording that the product on sale is the latest version of Microsoft Office. Also, if it can be determined that the product is based on Apache source, it also points to the wrong license.
It is a reasonable action to make E-bay aware of these points of misrepresentation. Further legal actions will require considerable effort, and are not likely to have any impact.
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Re: The nerve of some people: Selling OpenOffice on eBay

Postby juleyh » Thu Aug 04, 2016 10:06 pm

I know this is an old thread, but I just had to comment when I saw this. I hope you informed eBay of the problem. Sometimes just "reporting" it electronically does not get the priority it deserves because it is dealt with by a computer! I do not know if eBay customer service can override the computer, but it may be worth calling & speaking to a supervisor in the appropriate department. Try to get a call center that is not located in China, usually based on what time you make your call.

Another tactic I have noticed it that people will actually post a "listing" for $.01 which is a WARINING to those considering purchasing the product in your listing. You must make clear in the listing that this is "information" or warning" about ... then list the title of the other listing(s). Actually, put the "warning part at the end so that it sorts in such a way as to appear on the same page as the actual listings.

Anyway, I applaud your efforts & I just wanted to let you know that I appreciate your trying to do something about this blatant misrepresentation. If you were to put up a listing (in future), just explain NOT to Buy It Now or Bid, that you are providing the information free inside the listing & explain what you're warning is about. Explain that the software is available for free, for example. Most importantly, explain that the product as listed is a misrepresentation of what Open Office is, that it is not some kind of Word or other software related to Microsoft products, even though it can be "converted" to a Word file such that people with Microsoft Office can read the file ... :D
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