Court Ruling in the US raises questions about Amazon & Reverb

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Our good friend Brian Majeski, Editor of the US Music Trades magazine, has written an insightful article about a recent legal judgement that could dramatically alter the way marketplaces operate.

Here is an excerpt of the article written by Brian Majeski for Music Trades:

“Market places like Amazon, Reverb, and eBay have provided a lifeline to the multitude of m.i. brick and mortar stores that were impacted by government shutdown orders during the Pandemic. Collectively, these platforms accounted for close to 20% of total m.i. retail revenues for the first half of the year. That’s why a recent legal judgement that could dramatically alter the way marketplaces operate bears close watching. The case involved a San Diego woman who suffered severe burns when a replacement laptop battery purchased from Amazon exploded. She sued seeking damages, but Amazon denied responsibility arguing that it was only an “intermediary.” Responsibility for the defective battery, it said, lay with the third-party seller, Lenoge Technology. The court saw things differently and said since Amazon had stored the battery in its warehouses, received payment, shipped the product, set the terms of its relationship with the third-party seller, and gathered fees, it shared in the liability.

Similar cases have been tried in the past, but the California court was the first ever to rule against Amazon. If their ruling holds up under appeal, it would change the legal status of online marketplaces. Previously, they were considered neutral intermediaries much like a phone company or a classified advertising page…”

You can read the full article on Music Trades website here: www.musictrades.com/editorial