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Make thousands on eBay selling Flappy Bird loaded iPhones? Not so fast

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Want to sell your iPhone with the Flappy Bird app on eBay for thousands of dollars? If you think you are going to get rich overnight by selling your used iPhone or Android smartphone to a Flappy Bird addict, it's not going to happen.

Thousands of people rushed to eBay to sell their smartphones and tablets earlier this week when the app creator, Dong Nguyen decided to pull the Flappy Bird app due to its addictive nature.

Sellers did not do their research when posting their app-loaded phones on eBay. The listings violate eBay listing policies, so that big sale is likely to get some sellers kicked off eBay. At the very least, they will get a warning.

Some of the smartphones were listed for as much as $100K. Other sellers loaded the app on old iPhone models with cracked screens in hopes of making a few hundred bucks.

Since eBay started cracking down on sellers trying to pimp out outrageously priced smartphones, the numbers of phones being sold with the app have dwindled down from thousands to a few hundred. However, Amazon still has a few iPhones listed for sale with the app installed, but it's only a matter of time before the online retailers pulls the listings.

Why can't you sell your phone on eBay with the Flappy Bird app installed on it?

It all boils down to eBay's policies about the resale of copyrighted works. Not to mention the fact that when you sell a smartphone or tablet on eBay, you must reset it back to factory settings.

Here's a snippet from eBay's lengthy policy on selling copyrighted material:

"Under the copyright laws, the owner of a particular copy of a copyrighted work is generally entitled to resell the particular copy they own. For example, if you purchase a copy of a DVD movie, you are allowed to resell that particular DVD. Copyright protection prevents you from copying the DVD movie and reselling the copies. If you have licensed the right to use a particular copyrighted item, you should review the license and consult with your attorney to determine whether you can resell the item."

CNET's Eric Mack reports that eBay contacted members who are trying to sell their Flappy-bird loaded iPhones and Smartphones with a warning that they must remove the app and reset their phone to factory settings prior to listing.

eBay is taking this situation seriously, as they do with all policy violations, with a warning to members that "additional violations of this policy could result in the suspension of your account."

For now, it's best to just continue playing the game on your phone if you were lucky enough to download it before it before the app was pulled. Just try not to throw your phone if you get frustrated with the game. Then again, you can always sell your iPhone with a cracked screen for a few bucks on eBay, provided you delete the app.

For those who didn't get a chance to download the highly addictive app, a slew of app creators rushed to the scene to create other apps with a similar name, like Flappy Fish, Flappy Pig and, yes, there's even a Flappy Jellyfish app. The jury is still out on whether these games are as fun, or addicting, as their predecessor.

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