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The Almighty Buck

Ohio Wants eBayers to Post $50k Bond 841

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the well-wait-a-minute dept.
MacDork writes "CNNMoney posted a short article this morning about new Ohio regulations set to become effective May 2 this year. If you are in the state and selling on eBay, you will need to pay $200 for a license and post a $50,000 bond or face possible fines and jail time. Getting the license also requires a one-year apprenticeship. When asked to which eBay users this bill applied, the bill's author, Larry Mumper responded with these very specific guidelines.... "It certainly will not apply to the casual seller on eBay, but might apply to anyone who sells a lot.""
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Ohio Wants eBayers to Post $50k Bond

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  • by WCMI92 (592436) on Tuesday March 08, 2005 @09:33AM (#11876112) Homepage
    Will this do anything to stop scammers?

    No.

    Will this be a HUGE burden and inconvienence on the honest?

    Yes.

    Governments so often believe they can wave a piece of paper and behavior stops. Just like gun control, this will never stop a scammer but will punish the honest.
    • by PyWiz (865118) on Tuesday March 08, 2005 @09:43AM (#11876200)
      I completely agree. Think about it. Ebay scammers are _already_ breaking the law, so what qualms could they possibly have about "selling on ebay without a license." That would be like passing a law that makes it illegal for drug dealers to sell without a license. The best possible impact this could have would be forcing scammers to move their operations out of state.

      Meanwhile, all the honest sellers on ebay would be set back tremendously.

      But all is not despair. Do you smell that? I do, it's the smell of legislation that will never be passed. This is just another one of those bills we keep seeing that has absolutely no chance of ever becoming law, serving the sole purpose of allowing the senator to say "LOOK I WAS AGAINST EBAY SCAMMING!!!!111" Honestly, it's sad that this is what our "representatives" spend most of their time doing, but hey, at least they have the sense not to actually pass it, right?

      Good God I hope so...

      -py
      • by nounderscores (246517) on Tuesday March 08, 2005 @09:50AM (#11876269)
        like passing a law that makes it illegal for drug dealers to sell without a license.

        Actually when governments pass a law like that, they're usually trying to make money. Take cigarettes, alcohol, and in amsterdam, heroin, for example.

        I think ohio has seen a big fat cash cow and has decided to get down to milk it at gunpoint.
        • yeah, i saw it as an attempt to tax the internet without violating the federal ban on taxing the internet. of course, i didn't read the damned article, so i have no idea how scammers get into the act.

          on that latter thing, its just a control factor, the illusion that "Everything will be better as long as *we* know who's doing what.". Total garbage, gross violation of the principles on which the nation was founded, but there you go.
          • I did RTFA, and what I see is that some technologically-challenged type mistakes eBay for a meatspace auction -- the requirements as stated are exactly those I'd expect for licensing of a meatspace auctioneer.

            What on earth does bid-calling have to do with selling stuff on eBay, where you never see or hear the buyers' spoken or gestured responses, but only a final high bid as determined by a computer?? That alone tells me that whoever thinks this applies to eBay sellers is weak on the concept. In fact, eBay
        • The point was that people who are doing illegal things already are unlikely to comply with the law. Selling cigarettes and alcohol is usually legal in the U.S. so adding an additional tax/regulation is something that the sellers will comply with.

          Adding this requirement for bonding will simply mean that people who are trying to do business legitimately through eBay find themselves with a new cost while the scammers will ignore this just as they're already ignoring the laws against fraud.
        • by whats_a_zip (743877) on Tuesday March 08, 2005 @12:11PM (#11877774)
          "I think ohio has seen a big fat cash cow and has decided to get down to milk it at gunpoint." Bingo! Gov. Taft was rated the worst Governor in the United States. The state of Ohio is broke, and completely mismanaged. What you see here is desperation.
        • by Simonetta (207550) on Tuesday March 08, 2005 @02:40PM (#11879476)
          To my knowledge, it is extremely illegal to sell heroin in the Netherlands, where Amsterdam is the most important city. Perhaps you are confusing heroin with marijuana, which makes you an honorary Republican.

          It is possible to get a license to sell marijuana in Amsterdam. It's a long and painstaking process. Marijuana gets sold in small outlets called 'coffeeshops' (English word) and coffee gets sold in a 'koffiehuis' (Dutch word). Sex shops are sometimes openly advertised as 'Fuck Houses' (public display of vulgar words in foreign languages is frowned on, but not illegal).

          Some psycedelics like peyote and other sensitive drugs like organic Viagra (yohimbe) or intelligence-enhancers can be bought legally at 'Smart Shops'.

          Nowhere in the Netherlands can a person just walk off the street and buy highly addictive drugs like crack cocaine, crystal meth, or heroin. There MAY be government programs to provide heroin to addicts under controlled conditions and monitoring, but no one legally sells it in licensed shops.

          Thank you,
      • It already passed (Score:5, Informative)

        by voidptr (609) on Tuesday March 08, 2005 @10:24AM (#11876578) Homepage Journal
        But all is not despair. Do you smell that? I do, it's the smell of legislation that will never be passed. This is just another one of those bills we keep seeing that has absolutely no chance of ever becoming law, serving the sole purpose of allowing the senator to say "LOOK I WAS AGAINST EBAY SCAMMING!!!!111" Honestly, it's sad that this is what our "representatives" spend most of their time doing, but hey, at least they have the sense not to actually pass it, right?


        FTFA:
        The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported that the law, signed by Gov. Robert Taft on Feb. 1
        • by Zapman (2662) on Tuesday March 08, 2005 @11:36AM (#11877406)
          It may have already passed, but the second this comes up before a federal court, it will be struck down. The constitution forbids the states from interfering in inter-state comerce.

          Since 9 times out of 10 you won't be selling to someone inside the state...
      • by Heisenbug (122836) on Tuesday March 08, 2005 @01:58PM (#11878929)
        serving the sole purpose of allowing the senator to say "LOOK I WAS AGAINST EBAY SCAMMING!!!!111"

        A+++++!!!! Would vote for again!!! Prompt porkbarrels, curteous pandering!!!!
    • Governments so often believe they can wave a piece of paper and behavior stops. Just like gun control, this will never stop a scammer but will punish the honest.

      No, Governments (read: elected officials) believe doing this will get them reelected. It seems to work...
    • by ianscot (591483) on Tuesday March 08, 2005 @10:17AM (#11876515)
      That's funny, because my first reaction was that this law sounded as sloppily written as Minnesota's recent concealed weapons legislation -- which was written in a way that left major ambiguities about who could provide the required safety courses, for one example.

      We have a passel of state Reps I'd describe as "social right wingers" who put up stuff like death penalty legislation every term. They were behind the weapons bill: it was touted as making the law fairer by not leaving it up to individual sheriffs, but really it aimed at allowing more people to carry concealed guns. The bills these folks turn out seem to have been written by 10th graders who were unfamiliar with anything but the skeleton of the issue they're talking about, and they often have unintended consequences.

      So, who is this guy?

      Senator Larry A. Mumper [state.oh.us], Ohio Senate Republican.

      He's listed there as primary sponsor of a couple of other bills, including one that was presented as an "academic bill of rights for higher education." [kenyon.edu] This bill was partly prompted by a story about a kid who wrote a "pro-America" paper and got a bad grade from his teacher... Oops, except the kid's paper was crap [mediamatters.org]; he'd written a 1-page "report" that wasn't up-to-snuff, got a bad grade, and decided it was because he was patriotic that he'd been silenced. The bill itself reads like a wolf in sheep's clothing aimed at "protecting a plurality of opinion" by remaining neutral about crap like "intelligent design." It doesn't spell out how you'd decide when a topic was "controversial" -- gee, an ambiguity that could lead to unintended consequences.

      Does this sound like exactly the sort of wingnut I'm seeing in Minnesota? I mean, this is a guy who says his law "might apply to anyone who sells a lot" and "If someone buys and sells on eBay on a regular basis as a type of business, then there is a need for regulation." "As a type of business"? No ambiguity there, is there?

    • by surefooted1 (838360) on Tuesday March 08, 2005 @12:14PM (#11877798)
      This article not completely accurate and current...

      It was an oversight when the law was written and will be amended.

      http://www.nbc4i.com/print/4253028/detail.html [nbc4i.com]

      And for the lazy...

      Ohio Lawmakers Promise To Fix Internet Sales Law Law Could Regulate eBay Users POSTED: 6:30 am EST March 4, 2005 COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Lawmakers promise to change a state law that would force some individuals to get an auctioneer's license in order to sell items over the Internet.


      The law, which goes into effect May 2, was intended to regulate auctioneers, but ended up applying to sales through an Internet auction house.

      "We never intended for this to apply to people who sell things on eBay," said state Sen. Larry Mumper, a Marion Republican who was primary author of the bill. "This was to insure that auctioneers were abiding by the established rules and regulations.

      "The bill is flawed. We will amend it and correct the problem before it goes into law."

      The law would allow Ohioans to sell their items on eBay as long as they didn't buy the items intending to sell them.

      "What does that mean?" said Brenda J. Grolle, an Elyria resident who buys used books for $1 and sells them for $4 on eBay. "If I buy something, it's mine. I own it."

      As written, the law would subject Grolle to a maximum $1,000 fine and up to 90 days in jail unless she gets a license.

      A person has to serve a one-year apprenticeship to a licensed auctioneer, act as a bid-caller in 12 auctions, attend an approved auction school, pass exams, pay a biannual fee of $200 and post a $50,000 bond in order to get an auction license.

      Erin Davis, an aide to Sen. Tom Roberts, a Dayton Democrat, said the legislation wasn't intended to regulate eBay users.

      "It is a complete, unintended consequence," Davis said. "We did refer to Internet auctions in the bill, but we were talking about Internet auction houses, not individuals. It is important that the law be changed before it goes into effect."

      eBay spokesman Hani Durzy said the company isn't concerned about Ohio's law.

      "We do not believe the law applies to people who sell items on eBay or to eBay itself," he said.

      Gov. Bob Taft, who signed the bill on Feb. 1, has asked for a clarification, an aide said.
      Although, take note of the last sentence.
  • Something about the Interstate Commerce Clause might get congress, or at least the judcial branch involved. How long until the first lawsuit to stop, or at least clarify, the law?
    • Do you really believe there's anyone left in Congress who has a clue what the Constitution says anymore? They sure don't act like it.
    • by museumpeace (735109) on Tuesday March 08, 2005 @09:43AM (#11876194) Journal
      IANAL but isn't one of ICC's or FTC's jobs to see that there is not, in effect, tariffs imposed in one state blocking commerce from another state? That parity of states in matters of commerce was a problem facing the nation when the constitution was drawn up. This proposed legislation seems to come rather close, in its effect if not its intention, to a unilateral barrier to trade imposed by one state on commerce that may go on between states.
    • Something about the Interstate Commerce Clause might get congress, or at least the judcial branch involved. How long until the first lawsuit to stop, or at least clarify, the law?

      Interesting idea and the law is certainly too vague, but I don't see how this is an interstate commerce issue. Ohio is regulating (or overregulating) its own state's businesses. Its really no different than a local sales tax on restaurants, business license for retailers, etc. This would only become an interstate issue is Ohi
  • by Skye16 (685048) on Tuesday March 08, 2005 @09:34AM (#11876126)
    ...but why does this affect anyone other than eBay? TECHNICALLY, they are doing the auctioning. You're just putting up your item for auction. Is it illegal for you to pay an auctioneer 500$ to have them auction off your house? How could this apply to the user? THEY aren't accepting bids - the software is, and the software was created by and managed by eBay. The user isn't auctioning a damn thing, they're having ebay do it for them.

    ...aren't they?
    • Ebay is only a venue (Score:4, Informative)

      by way2trivial (601132) on Tuesday March 08, 2005 @09:45AM (#11876222) Homepage Journal
      http://pages.ebay.com/help/basics/f-agreement.html #3 [ebay.com]
      Frequently Asked Questions about the User Agreement:

      Why is there a User Agreement?
      Will the User Agreement change again?
      What does "eBay is only a venue" mean?
      Why can't I bid on my own item?
      If I place a bid, how exactly am I obligated to the seller?
      Why was one listing removed, while other similar items remain on the site?
      How do I know if an item is potentially illegal or not?
      What happens if someone violates the User Agreement?
      How do I report a potentially illegal, infringing or fraudulent item?
      What does Section 6.3 of the User Agreement regarding Your Information mean?
      Does Section 7 prohibit me from using auction management software to track my personal transactions on eBay?
      Does Section 7 prohibit me from discussing or linking to eBay on other websites?
      What does Section 17 of the User Agreement regarding arbitration mean?

      Search the Help System
      Search for help on:

      (e.g., what is a Reserve Price Auction?)

      If you can't find an answer to your question here, Ask eBay.
      Q.
      Why is there a User Agreement?
      A. The User Agreement is a legal document that spells out the relationship between you and eBay. It outlines the services, pricing, Privacy Policy, and the buyer and seller relationship for listing and bidding on items in eBay's auction format.

      Q.
      Will the User Agreement change again?
      A. It may change periodically. When revisions are needed, changes will be posted on the site 30 days before taking effect. You also have the option to receive email notices of any revisions as they occur. To select this option go to the preferences page, by choosing Change my notification preferences under My eBay at Services.

      Q.
      What does "eBay is only a venue" mean?
      A. eBay is an exciting electronic marketplace where you can buy and sell to your heart's content. However, eBay does not ultimately participate in the transaction between buyer and seller, verify that items are genuine, or guarantee that you will receive payment or auction items. eBay is very concerned about your safety and offers the services of third parties that can provide authentication, insurance, and escrow for your transactions.

    • by crow (16139) on Tuesday March 08, 2005 @09:46AM (#11876234) Homepage Journal
      Not exactly.

      With a traditional auction, the auction house does some verification of the merchandise, and the items are in the control of the auctioneer, not the original owner. On eBay, it's much more like the individual sellers are running their own auctions with eBay simply providing technical services.

      So it is different.

      As to how the law sees it, that may be several different matters.
    • by sysadmn (29788) <sysadmn@noSpam.gmail.com> on Tuesday March 08, 2005 @10:17AM (#11876511) Homepage
      Nope. What surprised everyone is that it was pointed out that anyone using eBay could be considered an auctioneer. eBay is just providing the soapbox - you're the one doing the auction.
  • This has got to be one of the most idiotic pieces of get-righ-quick tax legislature I have seen in the last year. How can a state claim not only to regulate interstate commerce, but to enforce said license? I would really like to see them try this one... Would be one of the fastest to supreme court cases RVER.

    I am really not too wirried though. Legislatures are not stupid (although some may seem it) and this will likely get voted down asap. Considering the direct implications on ebay, well, I wouldn't be

  • by Sialagogue (246874) <sialagogue@gma i l . c om> on Tuesday March 08, 2005 @09:35AM (#11876132)

    ...and a good match for other Ohio laws that mandate tickets for people who "go real fast" and jail for people who "do bad stuff."
    • by Otter (3800) on Tuesday March 08, 2005 @10:02AM (#11876380) Journal
      It would help if *anyone* could post a link to the relevant law, since it's too much to ask a CNN reporter to bother to read the legislation he's discussing.

      My impression is that there some new legislation regulating auctioneers in Ohio (not unreasonable), someone decided it might affect eBay sellers, the sponsor basically says he has no idea how eBay works, and guesses it might affect heavy users, and by the time it hits Slashdot, it's "Stoopid politishun regulates eBay, does'nt know how computars work!!!"

  • Seems a bit overdone (Score:5, Interesting)

    by PepeGSay (847429) on Tuesday March 08, 2005 @09:35AM (#11876133)
    Why would you have to apprentice as an auctioneer to sell something where the auction portion is run by someone else. This seems akin to making people on the Antiques Roadshow take auction classes and an apprenticeship before they can have Sotheby's auction their items. Is this really a way to back into a tax?
  • So does Ohio intend to only apply this to Ohio residents selling to Ohio residents? Otherwise, a pesky little clause in the Consistution will come into play.
  • "It certainly will not apply to the casual seller on eBay, but might apply to anyone who sells a lot."

    So that means I can sell individual items, but not a lot of them?

  • auction school (Score:5, Interesting)

    by fr1kk (810571) on Tuesday March 08, 2005 @09:36AM (#11876144) Homepage
    FTA: Besides costing $200 and posting a $50,000 bond, the license requires a one-year apprenticeship to a licensed auctioneer, acting as a bid-caller in 12 auctions, attending an approved auction school, passing a written and oral exam. Failure to get a license could result in the seller being fined up to $1,000 and jailed for a maximum of 90 days.

    and a school to become a licensed seller?

    what if i go on a spree, and say, sell like 30 items that i've found in my basement over christmas break? does that constitute as someone who sells more than 'casually'?
  • ...I might get a license.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Nothing like driving your productive citizens and businesses out of state with higher taxes.
  • Larry Mumper is the chairman of the Agriculture Committee. I guess he's tired of people being scammed when they attempt to purchase cows and corn on EBay.

    One shouldn't judge by looks, but it's hard not to in his case [state.oh.us]. Does he look like someone who has ever used EBay, or even knows how to spell EBay?
  • I seem to recall it being mentioned somewhere in the eBay terms and conditions that they aren't actually an auction service.
  • Okay, I see their point... there are people out there doing business and that has to be regulated. While one might argue about that I won't.

    What I don't understand is what exactely they try to accomplish with such... tremendous amounts of money... well beside killing off some hundred to thousand attempts at making a living. What exactely are they trying to regulate here? Employment numbers? Or unemployment numbers if you prefer?

    I think it's a great idea to give eBay some legal ground so that it doesn'
  • This is just another snow job to dance around the Internet no-tax law. ...where is the ACLU on this??!...they must have been sleeping...
  • by Anita Coney (648748) on Tuesday March 08, 2005 @09:43AM (#11876192) Homepage
    No ambiguity there.

    Seriously, despite the certain risk of being modded down, Ohio has EVERY right to do this. If you open up a business in Ohio, it has a right to license you. That applies even if you set up your business in your house.

    However, I certainly hope they clear up that vague definition before it's enacted!
  • by Rooktoven (263454) on Tuesday March 08, 2005 @09:44AM (#11876214) Homepage
    for all that unaccounted for money in the economy (you know, the largesse that if actually counted that would make the economy not seem to suck so much) it's only fair that we penalize them...
  • calm down (Score:5, Informative)

    by the_mighty_$ (726261) on Tuesday March 08, 2005 @09:46AM (#11876238)

    Read the article:


    ...The primary author of the legislation, State Sen. Larry Mumper, told the paper the legislature never intended it to apply to individuals selling items over eBay....


    In other words, the lawmakers are NOT attempting to target eBay/eBay users with this law. The law is there only to make sure auctioneers are obeying other Ohio laws regarding auctions. eBay already attempts to enforce the law by shutting down illegal auctions or whatever, so it is VERY unlikely that Ohio lawmakers will need to empose this law onto eBay sellers.

    • Re:calm down (Score:3, Insightful)

      by thomasa (17495)
      That may not be the intent but could the law really be applied in that manner if they so chose? The law should be clearly written so that there is no ambiguity about it. Vague laws are dangerous.

    • Re:calm down (Score:4, Insightful)

      by LaCosaNostradamus (630659) <LaCosaNostradamusNO@SPAMmail.com> on Tuesday March 08, 2005 @11:32AM (#11877352) Journal
      How reassuring to the individual seller! It's good to know that Ohio is indulging in "statistical enforcement" where it is "VERY unlikely" you will suddenly be charged with avoiding a $200 fee and $50K bond. Heck, I'm gonna get online TONIGHT and roll the dice on those odds, bay-bee!

      No law should be passed or obeyed when the legislaturalists have to say "don't worry, we won't target YOU with this ...". I shouldn't have to worry: All I have to do is read the law and see CLEARLY where I stand.
    • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Tuesday March 08, 2005 @12:46PM (#11878112)
      A law that tons of people technicly break, but the government says it "never intended to enforce" or "wasn't meant for these kind of people". Ok, great, if that's the case, modify the law such that they aren't covered.

      The thing is, with vague laws like this, it's ripe for abuse. If someone in the government who can sway the DA gets mad at you, they can bring it selectively down on your head. For example let's say you are protesting some corrupt politician and they get mad, so they get the police to arrest you, and they tell the DA to give you a tough time. Little investigation turns out that you regularly sell things on eBay, just little trinkets and shit, but still. They then charge you with violating this law.

      No laws need to be clear, and consistently enforced. None of this "Don't worry about breaking the law, it wasn't meant to apply to YOU" shit, because that's just an excuse for abuse. If they want the law to apply to real auctioneers, it needs to be written as such. If they want it to apply to eBay, they need to make that clear, and enforce it in all cases.
  • by RaZ0r (145723) on Tuesday March 08, 2005 @09:47AM (#11876241) Homepage
    The headline is an outright lie. Ebay was not even considered when this law drafted. It is not designed to affect ebay or ebay users. In fact, this law couldn't affect ebay users, as they are not the ones doing the actual auctioning; that is left to ebay.

    Would this law make it illegal to have an auctioneer auction off some of your property for you? NO! This would only affect someone acting as an auctioneer.

    It will, however, be interesting to see if they try to apply this law to ebay, as they (their software) does act as an auctioneer. A $50,000 bond would be a drop in the bucket for ebay, but I'm not sure if the $200 is per auction or a one-time fee for the license.... That could be interesting.

    • by ReadParse (38517) <(john) (at) (funnycow.com)> on Tuesday March 08, 2005 @10:59AM (#11876977) Homepage
      That's an excellent point, though there's no evidence that the headline is a LIE -- but it's certainly inappropriate, inflamatory and incorrect.

      Turns out this law is an expansion of existing auctioneering law, applying to auctioneers who only do business online. It makes sense that people who didn't want to go through the licensing process would just get some auction software and make a website, telling their seller and bidders, "sorry, I can't auction in person, or I would have to get a license". The internet has become a loophole for them and this law was intended to close that loophole.

      Why license auctioneers in the first place? Well it's all about trust. The auctioneer markets himself as a liasion betweeen buyer and seller -- he doesn't buy your property from you and then sell it as his property. He represents you as an agent while the property is still yours. This is a legal relationship and it's important for auctioneers to understand their legal responsibilities to buyer and seller. I could understand unscrupulous people seeking to take advantage of that position of trust getting around licensing and bonding laws by conducting business only online.

      Ah, but wait -- as is sometimes the case with laws, it might have had an unintended side effect -- the eBay seller. Are they or are they not an auctioneer. Well that depends. Most people selling on eBay are not an intermediary, but the seller. eBay is the auctioneer, bringing buyer and seller together and controlling the bidding.

      But then there are those people who have found that they are pretty good at selling things on eBay, and there are people who will pay them to sell their stuff on eBay for them. eBay consignment shops -- you may have heard of them. Many of them have had a certain amount of success. And some of them have heard from their local businessmen and/or governments, who are upset that their business is being infringed upon and these eBay kids don't have to get licensed or bonded.

      And obviously their relationship in the eBay picture is different -- they're not the seller and they're not the auctioneer. But they're definitely an agent of the seller and they can have significant impact on the result of the auction based on their actions. Hence they have similar legal responsibilities and perhaps licensing for these people should be looked at.

      Then there's the obvious public reaction -- $50,000 to sell on eBay? Madness! And inflamatory headlines don't help, either on slashdot or in the mainstream media.

      Any way you slice it, it's an interesting story.

      RP
  • by clonan (64380) on Tuesday March 08, 2005 @10:28AM (#11876634)
    I DO sell on ebay.

    I sell part time, maybe 5 hours a week.

    Last year I grossed almost $250 K...that's a quarter million!

    Of that I took about 12 K in profit.

    Ebay is NOT a very profitable place to operate anymore. People are NOT becoming rich....at least not often.

    I can almost understand the $200 license...standard government fines....but why the classes/apprenticeship.

    THe ENTIER point of ebay is that THEY are the auctioneer not you. You are simply the provider of the goods you don't actually participate the in auciton itself.

    This law is stupid and will only drive income tax revenue from Ohio. I just thank god that I do not live in a state that is considering this.
  • by gozar (39392) on Tuesday March 08, 2005 @10:30AM (#11876648) Homepage
    This was in the paper a couple of days ago. The lawmakers realized that the wording could apply to individuals selling on Ebay, and are going to amend the law to fix this problem. The Internet provisions in the bill are supposed to pertain to Internet auction houses, not individuals. More info here [wcpo.com].

    Nothing to see here, please move a long...

  • This is outrageous (Score:3, Insightful)

    by JeffTL (667728) on Tuesday March 08, 2005 @10:41AM (#11876774)
    It appears to me as if eBay is the auctioneer here; since when do property owners have to be licensed auctioneers to have something auctioned?

    It's like saying that you have to be a doctor or a nurse to go to the hospital.
  • by lcsjk (143581) on Tuesday March 08, 2005 @10:54AM (#11876922)
    When I read it, I got the impression some lawyer decided to write a law to protect individuals and estates from auctioneers that do not know how to run an auction and get the best deal for the estate owners. The fact that it applies to something on the internet may be purely unintended.

    Also, the person who sells on ebay is not an auctioneer. He is the owner of a product that has been taken to ebay to be auctioned off. EBAY is the auctioneer and probably the only entity covered by this law. Again, however, as laws get put on the books, their unintended audience will be found if it means that some fee can be extracted.

  • Nothing unusual here (Score:3, Informative)

    by confused one (671304) on Tuesday March 08, 2005 @11:14AM (#11877152)
    They're simply requiring people to register and license their BUSINESS. This is a normal practice for all states. Nothing new to see here. Move on.
  • by Aumaden (598628) <Devon,C,Miller&gmail,com> on Tuesday March 08, 2005 @11:23AM (#11877260) Journal
    First, a link [state.oh.us] to the law in question.

    Under Sec. 4707.01. in reads (in part):

    (B) "Auctioneer" means any person who engages, ... in the calling for, recognition of, and the acceptance of, offers for the purchase of real or personal property, goods, or chattels at auction either directly or through the use of other licensed auctioneers or apprentice auctioneers.

    Under Sec. 4707.02. it reads (in part):

    No person shall act as an ... auctioneer, ... within this state without a license issued by the department of agriculture.
    ...
    This section does not apply to:
    ...
    (B) The owner of any real or personal property desiring to sell the property at auction, provided that the property was not acquired for the purpose of resale;

    Now, IANAL, but to me this says that Ebay need to be licensed and to post the bond, not the seller. The seller is contracting Ebay's services as an auctioneer.

  • Larry Mumper (Score:3, Insightful)

    by JoeGee (85189) on Tuesday March 08, 2005 @12:17PM (#11877826)
    At one time I knew the man on a first name basis. He appears to have developed a taste for public money.

    It appears he's become fee hungry, like the rest of Ohio's Republicans. With Ohio Republicans, like our lame duck Governor Taft [ohio.gov] -- who stands a snowball's chance in Hell of moving on to the U.S. Senate, we know him too well to advance him -- we get the worst of both worlds. Not only do we get the spend-thrift tendencies for which Republicans have historically been known, we get the urge to tax that is usually attributed to Democrats.

    Basically with our current Ohio-brand Republican government in place, Ohio taxpayers get screwed, and we don't even get held close and kissed.
  • by Chanc_Gorkon (94133) <gorkon&gmail,com> on Tuesday March 08, 2005 @01:03PM (#11878269)
    Ohio is historical for things like this. One other item is they want you to pay a use tax on anything you buy over the internet or even by just driving over the border (common for cig smokers since Ohio raised their Cig Tax). They collect this when you fill a income tax form, yet they dont tell you how they know you bought that laptop in Kentucky or over the internet. The thing is, they can't. It's a pointless law.

    One other stupid thing they are doing here in OH is they want to charge parking at State Parks. 5 per day or a pass for 25 that let's you park at any park. I believe they charge out of staters more. Yep....just make people NOT want to come to your little used State Park.

    Ohio's governor is so bad for you politically if your a republican, that GW did not want to even be seen with him.
  • Not just taxes (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Presence1 (524732) on Tuesday March 08, 2005 @01:47PM (#11878785) Homepage
    This does not look like it is only about taxes, but also a protectionist bill for existing auctioneers.

    "Besides costing $200 and posting a $50,000 bond, the license requires a one-year apprenticeship to a licensed auctioneer, acting as a bid-caller in 12 auctions, attending an approved auction school, passing a written and oral exam."

    If it was just taxes, I'd think that they woulnd't bother with the apprenticeship, test, etc.
  • by scharkalvin (72228) on Tuesday March 08, 2005 @01:50PM (#11878825) Homepage
    ebay is interstate commerece.
    The FTC regulates that. This law would
    give Ohio power that the Federal government
    has. So IMHO (IANAL) this would be un-constitutional. Whay say ye, supreme court?

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