OJ Simpson’s “If I Did It” Hits eBay
Not surprisingly, copies of OJ’s newly suppressed book, If I Did It, are now available on eBay. As I write, the highest bid for a copy weighs in at $15,300. Meanwhile, the New York Times tells us that an attorney for Nicole Brown SImpson is demanding that eBay banish the book. The article also suggests that eBay has already been pulling the books from its listings. If it has, it’s not doing a great job. There are six copies up right now, and at least one has been posted for well over a day.
I have no idea about the legal implications here. Does eBay have a legal duty to pull them? I suppose this might turn on how, and conceivably, under what contractual limits, the sellers obtained the book. If the sellers obtained the book by theft, and eBay knows or should know this, I suppose it might be criminally liable for “fencing” the volume. If the seller obtained the book under a confidentiality agreement, which he or she is violating, I’m not clear that eBay has any duties at all. And if Nicole’s lawyers hope to suppress the book on the grounds that it is hurtful, or that OJ is an ass…that just seems like a loser of a legal argument. eBay could choose to pull If I Did It out of kindness or good taste, but I have to think that this book is only one of many items currently listed on eBay that could be excluded on these grounds.
The likely reality is that copies of this book are going to circulate, OJ won’t benefit from these sales (beyond his generous advance), and this trash will fetch top dollar for a relatively short time. For the hard-core OJ Simpson fan, it’s probably best to wait out the frenzy. If we’re lucky, OJ’s book will be selling on eBay’s Half.com before you know it.