Paypal does not cover intangible goods in its buyer protection but, if the software proves to be counterfeit, selling it is fraudulent and the matter becomes crime
I recently bought a copy of Adobe CS5.5 Master Set for £65 from an online retailer called digisale.net and paid using Paypal. As I already have a genuine copy I guessed this was a fake.
Paypal has refused to refund my £65 until I can prove the item is a forgery. I have reported the issue to Adobe, including using the company’s piracy reporting tool, but have not heard back from Adobe yet.
Paypal’s Buyer Protection is reasonably comprehensive but it does have limitations. One of these restrictions is that it does not cover what are deemed ‘intangible’ items. Software is considered an intangible item under UK law.
This is fraud and the seller of pirated or counterfeit software is committing a criminal offence. In this case, Paypal would not wish to be involved as the payment portal for such sellers.
But, of course, legally it has to have proof that the software is counterfeit. It is a shame that Adobe has not responded to Mr Hyams, as it would be in its interests to pursue people who sell counterfeit copies of its software.
We have looked over Digisale’s website and went through the buying process and found it uses Paypal and Google Checkout for payments. Although it offers debit or credit card payments, there appears to be no merchant facilities to do this.
The only sources who can verify to us that the software is counterfeit, apart from Mr Hyams, are Adobe and Digisale. We have contacted both these companies to find out if the software is genuine and will update this complaint at a later date.
Since we reported this case, Digisale appears to be calling itself Bytesales. We are currently investigating this and will post an update soon.
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