Based on my research there appear to be two types of public domain; the public domain where a copyright period has ended for a particular item; and the ‘public domain’ where copyrighted items have been used to produce new items, which have then been made freely available on the internet.
On investigating a number of websites and forums relating to the specific types of information product I’m looking to promote on ebay, it all seemed to be a bit of a grey area, so I decided to contact ebay directly and get their opinion.
After an extensive online chat with one of the representatives at ebay’s Community Watch and after giving them examples of 4 other items, identical to the kind of thing I’m looking to sell, they concluded that everything was above board and I was given the green light.
Ebay sends a copy of chat transcripts to your email; so if I ever get questioned about what I’m selling, I have evidence that ebay said it was OK. In reality, I think it would be ebay if anyone who would be questioned, at which point they would change their policy, pull all related items and that would be the end of it.
The bottom line is that I’m now happy that what I’m doing is above board and I will ride this wave for as long as I can – the result is great news for me and good news for my impending competition; the bad news for them is that there’s about to be a new kid on the block….