Bob Geldof vs. the Human Rights Act

Bill Thompson lays into Live8 and Bob Geldof over the eBay selling controversy.

Brief recap: people were selling their legally-obtained Live8 tickets on eBay. Geldof was upset, threatened boycotts, etc. eBay caved, ticket sales withdrawn.

Bill rightly points out that this is a pretty illiberal thing to do. eBay’s just a marketplace. Threatening them with boycotts for what their sellers do is the worst sort of collective punishment – not that far removed from Nicht vom Juden kaufen.

eBay is a Big Bad Corporation, of course, so it’s easy to knock it – even though it was hardly encouraging the sales. But shouldn’t freedom of speech extend to freedom of commerce?