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Pesky "Lego Instructions CDs" on eBay

Si_UKNZSi_UKNZ Member Posts: 4,179
edited October 2012 in Buying & Selling Topics
Like many others, I have searches set up on ebay, and probably like many others, I often get emails about a new listing which just turns out to be some jerk who'd selling a CD-ROM with a PDF of the manual on for £3 (yes, the very same one you can get from brickset).

Well, I just realised that these violates eBay's listing terms if they are in the Lego category. Specifically ...
"Compilations or information content must comply with our digitally delivered goods policy - including being supplied in a physical format (e.g. on CD), and being listed in the Everything Else > Information Products category".

This is great because it means you can set up your ebay searches just in the Toys and Games catagory and the searches won't pick these up if they're listed correctly. Even better, if they're not in the right category (which none of them seem to be), you can report them for listing policy breaches.


So please go ahead and do so!


  • ColoradoBricksColoradoBricks Member Posts: 1,659
    I actually think that selling only PDF from LEGO is a violation of eBay policies. It is OK to have the PDF on CD if you are selling the model but just the PDF is copyright infringement.
  • paul_mertonpaul_merton Member Posts: 2,967
    Yes, surely this must be copyright infringement anyway, but that won't stop it from happening.

    If your search includes the description of the listing, you can eliminate anything that mentions PDF or CD by adding the following to the search term:

  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Member Posts: 10,787
    Sadly this has been going on for some time ever since goofs were selling complete instructions of SW on CD on eBay and they never did anything to stop it.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas Member Posts: 8,404

    I actually think that selling only PDF from LEGO is a violation of eBay policies. It is OK to have the PDF on CD if you are selling the model but just the PDF is copyright infringement.

    No, you can't sell the PDF on a CD, that is still copyright infringement.

    I'm a bit shocked that TLG doesn't take a harder stance on this.
  • ColoradoBricksColoradoBricks Member Posts: 1,659
    @LegoFanTexas, by OK I mean, I do not report those (I do report PDF on CD when it is just that). The model is sold and the instructions are available on CD as a convenience, I do not consider those as selling the PDF.
  • monkeyhangermonkeyhanger Member Posts: 3,169
    why not put up a listing when you have a free listing for $0.01/£0.01 with a similar title so that someone who gets a search hit for the PDF seller would also get onto yours and then in the main body of text tell everyone where to go for free PDF downloads of Lego sets.
  • ColoradoBricksColoradoBricks Member Posts: 1,659
    ^ knowing eBay, if you do that, you will be the one to get a notice violation because it is a listing that will make them no money...
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Member Posts: 10,787
    correct, you have to list the item for sale
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Member Posts: 10,787
    Actually I think the other thing about copyright infringement is the owner of the copyright has to be the one to complain, so I believe LEGO would need to go to eBay to report the infringement.
    This is probably why so many people get away with stuff like this, the company that is being infringed upon is not reporting the violation.
  • kingrixykingrixy Member Posts: 1
    yes its a pain when searching for specific manuals. but I dont think its a problem, as you guys know these manuals can be found on bricklink, peeron , brickset etc even lego themselves, so why would TLG do anything about it if they did then they would be after removing them from all the sites as well as ebay as yes the sellers are making a small profit, but as our the websites in advertising revenues :-)?
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Member Posts: 10,787
    Well the sellers are trying to SELL PDF copies of the old instructions. I believe Peeron, or PICSL, could not list SW catalogs within x amount of time of the set being released by LEGO, and most others are selling Original instruction books OR having the copies for free..
    LEGO cannot really go after a resale of an instruction book that was originally product by LEGO, but I believe they could go after someone trying to make a profit off of copies.
  • Pacific493Pacific493 Member Posts: 379
    I think the reason that TLG doesn't do anything about this is because the instruction manuals are a secondary part of its business. TLG doesn't make money selling instruction manuals, it makes money selling bricks and sets. If someone sells a PDF of a Lego instruction manual, TLG doesn't lose a sale or lose money. While it is true that such a sale would violate TLG's copyrights, it doesn't affect TLG's core business.
  • CCCCCC Member Posts: 20,526
    They also make them available free. Presumably this keeps people happy, as they can get the manual for lost sets or make models from existing collections. If people are stupid enough to buy and pay for info on the internet that they can get free for free on the internet, then more fool them.
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