Forbidding to show pictures of ebay items

Saw the BoingBoing post about the copyright threats based on the photos of the Aquage shampoo. Aquage doesn’t have a legal leg to stand on. There is a clear exception in the Copyright Act that permits people who are selling or advertising a product to make and display photos of the the stuff they are selling, precisely to stop this kind of effort to control secondary markets. The exception is set out in Section 113(c) of the Copyright Act:

“(c) In the case of a work lawfully reproduced in useful articles that have been offered for sale or other distribution to the public, copyright does not include any right to prevent the making, distribution, or display of pictures or photographs of such articles in connection with advertisements or commentaries related to the distribution or display of such articles, or in connection with news reports.”