eBay not liable for fakes in France

Several sources are reporting that a French court refused to hold eBay responsible for counterfeit L'Oreal products sold on its site.  That is contrary to earlier French cases - but consistent with the North American position. eBay does suspend sales of counterfeit goods when advised of them by the rightful manufacturer, but it does not pre-screen or otherwise take steps to ensure everything sold on its site is legitimate.

In my view, this is how it should be.  While I do have sympathy for brand owners, eBay and others like it are intermediaries.   They are no different in that regard than a phone company - and no one would think of making phone companies liable or responsible for policing illegal activity occuring during phone conversations.

Making intermediaries like on-line auction sites or job posting sites responsible for policing all the activity between the people they bring together just isn't practical.