Originally Posted by Apache
If you bought the merchandise not knowing that it was stolen and paid so low a price that you should have known it was stolen, you are criminally liable.
I should think criminal liability in this instance should be rather difficult to prove! Who determines how low a price must be paid to assume an item was stolen? There are, for instance, TONS of bargains on eBay, with low prices because sellers were clueless as to what they had or described it incorrectly, or just set a "buy it now" price too low, etc...
I got this Note with no contract I'm posting from at a VERY low price compared to what the market value was, yet it is a perfectly legit device, the guy had his receipt. He just was clueless about what he could have realized for it via selling on eBay.
I picked up two somewhat rare books recently on eBay, from two different sellers, paid about a sixth of the actual value (which isn't all that much, but enough for me to make a profit reselling them). I have no way to know if they were stolen or not, but in the rather unlikely event they were, I can't imagine that a court would find me criminally liable simply because I paid a low price.
Granted, if you find ebook bestsellers online with low prices, chances are they are not legit, still, there are a lot of people who would not realize this, especially if they were new to ebooks.
There are also ebooks available from "trusted" sources such as Amazon, B&N, Smashwords where the legitimacy of the ebook may be questionable, but no one really knows for sure. The Mary Stewart Arthurian series that is on Smashwords and Amazon comes to mind here.