For those of you that don’t know what VeRO is, it’s a program thru ebay that protects the intellectual rights of Verified Rights Owners. Companies such as Lululemon can join the VeRO program and ensure the protection of their copyrighted and trademarked images from being stolen off their website and used to fraudulently sell fake items on ebay by having those listings that steal imagery from their website taken down. It also prevents fraudulent sellers from selling you items off the lululemon website which they have not purchased and do not have in their possession in order to charge you the shipping and have lululemon ship the items directly to you (at no cost to the ebay seller) You can read more about it over here on What is VeRO?
In the past week, several of you have sent me emails letting me know that your ebay listings are being pulled off of ebay even after transactions have been completed. Many of you were concerned that lululemon is now going after consignment sellers that are simply offloading their own personal items, or if you are a power seller that Lululemon is trying to shut down your business. This is not the case according to Lululemon and they said they are not using VeRO as a tool to discourage resellers (although they do not recommend buying from 3rd party sellers of course, and according to their statement we cannot use names and descriptions taken off their website). If you are an ebay power seller and are operating an ebay store, then you should be photographing your inventory for display, as is the rule of selling on ebay. If you are simply a casual seller of consignment clothing then it is in your interest to photograph your items for sale as evidence of their state since in a dispute with a buyer Ebay will favor the buyer over the seller in most cases. Even if you are using your own images in addition to lululemon’s copyrighted images, your listing will be pulled down. This is an inconvenience to deal with, but in the end we can still sell our property on ebay we just have to do so without infringing on copyright protected items.
As buyers on ebay, we may soon have to search out our coveted items a little harder without using the items copyrighted names. So instead of just searching out ‘Hustle Jacket’, I would also search out ‘Lululemon Jacket’ and go thru all of the listings that way. I’m not entirely sure that product titles and color titles are currently copyrighted, however that may become the case very shortly. I believe that they currently just have copyright on their fabric names ‘luon’, ‘rulu’ and ‘luxtreme’.
And here is the lululemon ‘corporate speak’ response to my question about the intent behind joining VeRO. There is also reference to bloggers/websites and use of website images but I’m quite comfortably informed and not concerned with the content of my blog so rest assured, lulumum is not going anywhere.
The details of the program include restricted use of images, logos, product names and descriptions – essentially, all collateral that would be considered lululemon intellectual properly.
Please note that all of the images present on our website are owned and copyrighted by lululemon. Should our guests decide to reproduce our images on their personal websites and/or blog, we ask the following:
· Please reproduce the image in its entirety without modification;
· Please attribute the image to lululemon by including (i) a link to the website www.lululemon.com next to the image and (ii) display the following copyright notice under the image: © lululemon athletica.
· Please do not (i) use the image for commercial use; (ii) display the image in a manner that is defamatory, disparaging or damaging to the reputation or goodwill of lululemon or its affiliates or licensors or any other person or that is illegal or otherwise improper; or (iii) post the image on any site that includes content that is defamatory, disparaging, damaging, illegal or otherwise improper.