Technology has made it possible for business activities to be carried out on a large scale. The internet has been influential in expanding business activities and making it a possibility for the sellers and buyers from different places to meet on a common platform and amicably exchange what they have. Through the internet companies have been set up to enable people separated by geographical distances to meet to virtually meet and make exchanges. This paper examines one such company and explores how it has expanded. The paper will examine how it has upheld integrity by examining the policies regarding to two areas:
This is an international company that manages eBay.com which is an online auction website which brings together sellers and buyers from various places to sell and buy. Ebay has localized websites and owns skype, payPal among other businesses. Ebay allows the selling of a number of items as long as they are legal and do not violet the policies set up by ebay. Since the company went public in 1998 it has been developing policies to ensure that integrity is upheld in the course of the selling and buying process. Despite all these efforts there have been controversies have been raised over some of the items which have been put for bid on the website. A good example of such is that of a bid of a man's kidney which was put up for sale in 1999 (ecommerce, 2010).
ebay has developed a number of policies to ensure that the process of selling and buying runs smoothly without any party taking advantage of the other. Over time ebay has come to realize a number of ways in which sellers engage in committing frauds and consequently come up with a number of policies to combat these frauds. There are policies not necessary targeting frauds but out to ensure that the process of buying and selling takes place smoothly and no illegal goods are not exchanged. According to ebay (2010), the intention of ebay's policies are, 'support government laws and regulations, minimize risks to both buyers and sellers, provision of equal opportunities to all the buyers and sellers, protection of intellectual property rights, provision of enjoyable buying experience and supporting the values of the ebay community' (ebay p. 1). The section below examines the efforts of ebay in protecting the Intellectual property rights and Broadcast email and spamming.
The intellectual property
ebay has made the necessary provisions to ensure that intellectual property rights of third parties are not infringed with. The Verified Rights Owner (VeRO) program was created with this respect to ensure that the property rights are not infringed with. Rights owners are required to register and sign legally binding documents before reporting items to ebay. The ebay policy of intellectual property upholds the policies spelt out in the U.S. copyright office and U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO, 2010; USCO, 2010). These two offices have comprehensive and detailed rules on the use of copyrights. The rules spell out clearly what entails infringing is in reference to intellectual property. ebay requires that the sellers read and understand the ebay rules on how legally binding compliant listings. ebay has a list of items which are prohibited or restricted due to their ability to infringe on intellectual property of third parties. There is also a list of the items which are not allowed on ebay. ebay has rules which affect how a seller can list items for sale and through the eBay VeRO program.
Broadcast email and spamming
ebay encourages open relationship among its members. Ebay warns its members against using this opportunity to send send spams. ebay defines spam as a message that is sent without the consent of the one receiving it and the message should be discussing the process of buying and selling of either goods or services. Ebay gives examples of spams as follows: "unsolicited email offering sent to potential customers, email messages sent to the mailing list without prior permission, inviting people to join a mailing list that aren't related to a transaction, email sent using eBay messages" (ebay 1). Ebay advices its members to report incidences of spam being sent. ebay has given a procedure on how the members should reports cases of spams.
It should be appreciated that ebay has taken bold steps towards ensuring that it has set up policies which target making the selling and buying experience enjoyable for all the members. In reference to protection of intellectual property ebay should ensure that all the set rules and regulations are followed. Ebay should take an active step in ensuring that the members seeking to list items should have gone through the intellectual property tutorial. To control the spams ebay should ensure that it engages in a close scrutiny of the messages being sent and received. In general for ebay to ensure that its members do not engage in unlawful activities it may need to engage the services of a third party to help in the scrutiny process.
Ebay is a good example of a successful online company which has easily grown to be a very big company over a relatively short time span. The company has excellent policies which protect all the parties involved in selling and buying process. Though the company has some problems at the beginning, it has evolved to become a good example of a modern day online company.