Charlie Hebdo issue offered on eBay for thousands of euros

PARIS (AFP) - Copies of the latest edition of the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, which sold out within hours across France on Wednesday, are being offered on eBay for thousands of euros, prompting a media watchdog to blast sellers for "indecent" profiteering.

The online selling and auction site had one vendor listing the new Charlie Hebdo issues at €15,000 (S$23,000) for immediate purchase, compared to the cover price of just €3.

It was not known how serious the offers were, or if the vendors actually possessed the copies.

But the Paris-based media watchdog group Reporters Without Borders (Reporters Sans Frontieres) expressed anger at the apparent opportunism.

"What is happening on eBay... is absolutely indecent," said its director, Christophe Deloire.

"People abroad have tried to trademark the phrase 'je suisCharlie'. There is a sort of parallel trade being organised that is totally reprehensible, lamentable, indecent."

Later, eBay announced it was banning scanned and digital copies of the Charlie Hebdo magazine, adding that it would also hand over the commissions it received on sales of the edition and other paraphernalia sold on its French website.

The first 700,000 copies of what has been dubbed the "survivors' edition" of Charlie Hebdo after last week's deadly attacks sold out across France in just a couple of hours early Wednesday.

The assault by Islamist gunmen on Charlie Hebdo's Paris office a week ago that killed 12 people has triggered a global outpouring of public support for the irreverent title.

A print run initially set for three million has been increased to five million to meet the huge demand.

Copies were also to be put on sale in other countries around the world later this week.

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