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Harry Potter author fights eBay: fake J. K. Rowling autographs

Here's a small tempest in a teapot that's brewing online, just in time to sidetrack eBay from its multi-billion dollar purchase of Skype.

In one corner we have Harry Potter author Jo Rowling, who has been sharing with her fans that she's upset about "signed copies" of her books for sale on eBay that are actually forgeries. In the other corner we have eBay who says "consumers should be wary of any signatures sold on the site".

Confusing the matter, eBay is also stating that "it's up to the copyright owner to report a violation" while Rowling claims she's already done so, without result.

What makes this interesting is that it really demonstrates the phenomenal challenge of policing the digital world: author Jo Rowling is essentially claiming that she knows the location of every signed copy of her Harry Potter books, while eBay is responding that figuring out what is legitimate and what isn't is far too difficult a job for them to undertake...