16 December 2020CopyrightSarah Morgan

Alibaba, Amazon, eBay escape European Commission piracy list

Online commerce platforms Alibaba, Amazon, eBay have avoided inclusion on the European Commission’s 2020 watch list of counterfeiting and piracy hotspots, despite a number of nominations from stakeholders.

Released Monday, December 14, the Commission’s second “ Counterfeit and Piracy Watch List” noted that while a significant volume of counterfeit goods allegedly remains available on the three platforms, the trio’s level of compliance with the Commission’s’ recommendation on measures to effectively tackle illegal content online remains higher than the platforms actually listed.

“Taking into consideration the engagement of these operators in the fight against counterfeiting, these platforms are not listed on this watch list. It is noted, however, that according to stakeholders further progress is needed to ensure that offers of counterfeit goods disappear from these platforms or are significantly reduced,” said the Commission.

Earlier this year, the US Trade Representative’s 2019 Review of Notorious Markets named several of Amazon’s international domains in the watch list, citing complaints from rights owners. At the time, Amazon accused the US government of pursuing a “personal vendetta”.

Alibaba’s Taobao was also named on the US’ list, while eBay avoided inclusion.

In the Commission’s recently published list, Latin America-based Mercado Libre, Southeast Asia platform Shopee, and Indonensia-based Bukalapak are named.

First-ever listing for social media platforms

For the first time, the Commission’s list also includes social media, driven by “growing concerns about the significant role of certain actors in addressing proliferation of pirated content”.

“The service providers are not reported as having engaged in unauthorised activities, but are mentioned in this section for the reason that they are reported to allegedly lag behind in efforts to combat piracy or counterfeiting,” added the report.

Dubai-based messaging application Telegram and Russian social network are the only two social media platforms named. Both objected to their inclusion on the list.

Unlicensed IPTV service providers have also been included in the list for the first time this year due to an “increasing concern about the proliferation of operators engaged” in their provision.

The list, which only includes websites and physical marketplaces outside the EU, also names The Pirate Bay, Torrentz2, and Sci-Hub.

A spokesperson for Alibaba said: “We are pleased that the European Commission has acknowledged our collaborative efforts in the area of IP protection."

Did you enjoy reading this story?  Sign up to our free daily newsletters and get stories sent like this straight to your inbox

Already registered?

Login to your account

To request a FREE 2-week trial subscription, please signup.
NOTE - this can take up to 48hrs to be approved.

Two Weeks Free Trial

For multi-user price options, or to check if your company has an existing subscription that we can add you to for FREE, please email Adrian Tapping at

More on this story

15 February 2021   The European Commission has updated its international trade law rules to include greater emphasis on IP rights.
1 September 2021   Alibaba has partnered with IP firms Rouse and Inngot to launch a new patent assessment and valuation service on the Chinese company’s online auction platform, Ali Auction.
7 July 2023   District court erred in dismissing suit brought by Herbal Brands over online sales, say judges | Products sold to Arizona consumers by New York defendants via Amazon did constitute personal jurisdiction.