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Stuart Langridge

Surely Ebay are not selling the things themselves, just making them available for sale? Would newspapers be liable if someone offered contact lenses for sale in the classified ads?

Chris Lightfoot

Why would an army of staff be necessary? Automated searches would catch most such listings (there are only a limited number of ways you can describe a contact lens, after all) and show that they were doing their best to comply with the law. Vendors deliberately avoiding the automated searches spammer styly -- by selling "c0nt4ct l3nzes" or whatever -- presumably wouldn't get very much custom and would find other outlets (like, uh, spam).

Mark Roberts

I think it is telling that the GOC found 200 contact lens listings in early September. eBay was able to remove all of these within a day. I think this will be eBay's Achilles' Heel - namely that it knew sales from non-registered practitioners were unlawful (it is in their terms of use), knew that they were being sold on eBay - and yet didn't undertake a simple daily search to remove these listings. And let's not forget that eBay benefits financially from all sales...! 200 listings at up to £2,500 a time could be an expensive fine!

Kevin Calder

I understand that ebay stand accused of 'aiding and abetting' the sale rather than selling the lenses themselves. We will see what the Court says...

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