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Topic: Etsy shop is stealing from me & maybe you too!!!  (Read 6921 times)
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« on: March 13, 2011 09:46:03 AM »

This etsy shop "fortheloveofdre" has lifted photos of my items & has undercut my prices... how low is that?

Check out the 'cropped' image of my original custom sprinkles initial ring she's using here (in green)...compared with my original rings (in pink)


And here, she's cropped my photo of my red glitter heart adjustable ring! (mine is highlighted in pink & hers...the copy is in green)


"Latifah Bates" obviously has no scruples or conscience whatsoever to be doing this to me...and the thing is, it's not just me! She's stolen photos from other resin jewelry sellers as well!

Have any of you had this happen? What did you do? How did things turn out in the end? I've been thinking of giving my lawyer a call, but wonder if it is worth the bother.  Huh


« Last Edit: March 18, 2011 08:40:19 AM by jungrrl » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2011 09:58:40 AM »

That is just terrible!! I don't have an etsy shop, but I have purchased on there and that is inexcusable. Have you contacted etsy yet? Is there anything they can do?
I'm so sorry that happened. You know, it's people like that that are the reason I'm nervous about opening an etsy account...
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tiffi_333
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2011 10:22:18 AM »

i think you should contact etsy, and your lawyer. etsy could probably get the pictures down, but your lawyer would be able to tell you all the actions you should do. Ive heard this happening to lots of people and they tend to contact the person doing it and threaten to contact the lawyer if they dont remove the images imediately and it tends to work cuz noone wants to get sued. Ive never really understood why people take someones images though, if you're copying them by making the same product, just take your own image...its not hard, or really time consuming when you dont have to model everything. I hope this all gets cleared up quickly though.
*Also, since they are stealing basically all the images, from other people, contacting etsy and letting them know might clear up all of it rather than just yours.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2011 10:24:06 AM by tiffi_333 » THIS ROCKS   Logged
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« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2011 11:08:32 AM »

I've been in touch with other resin sellers who's work I recognize & they are flagging & contacting etsy.

This chick has 2 other shops as well & she's shilling for feedback (aka buying from herself)

Not cool. Not cool at all.
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edenkitty
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2011 12:38:28 PM »

.... That is just so very wrong. What kind of a person does that, probably the same kind who "make" things, when it's really the chinese sweat shops. I mean, yes we all get inspiration from everything around us, and things may look similar, but to straight up JACK a product and the PHOTOS from other people? That's just wrong.
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« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2011 01:14:05 PM »

Not nice at all.
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« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2011 06:12:53 PM »

My items have been removed, but not yet some of the others that were stolen, so I'm helping some folks by flagging the ones I know are taken. Too bad etsy won't just shut them down.... such a shame there's people out there that think they can get away with this & don't think twice about how much it hurts real people.  Angry
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Chris in VT
« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2011 05:07:14 AM »

If your work is not copyrighted, she can actually do what she wants. As a matter of fact, SHE can copyright those items and tell you to stop making them!

So here's what you do.

Take ALL your photographs of EVERY piece you make and put them in book form. Take some heavier cover stock for the front and back covers. Title the book and put in it that "No portion of this book may be reproduced in any form whatsoever without the author's expressed written permission. No item may be manufactured or sold without permission of the author."

There. All your work is now copyrighted. Send it off to the Copyright office, and when you receive your copyright, you can send her a letter telling her to cease and desist or you will sue her in Federal Court for copyright infringement.

This way, not only is your work copyrighted, but your photos also.
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« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2011 05:41:49 PM »

She's still at it... I found another person who's work she's ripping off...so that makes the 4th or 5th undisclosed shop she has where she's just lifting photos & listing the items as her own. I hope etsy can track her IP & block her the way craftster has blocked swap thieves in the past.
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« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2011 12:59:46 PM »

Another way to copyright, which my family uses in our businesses, is to take a picture, put it in a sealed envelope, address it to yourself and mail it.  That way, there is dated proof that it is your design and will hold up if you have to sue.  My mother actually went through this a few years ago.  She had to send a cease and desist (sp?) letter to a company that was stealing my mother's designs.  The postmarked photos were to be the evidence should it go to court.  I've started doing that with my designs as well, just in case.  Good luck!
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mekenoka
« Reply #10 on: March 21, 2011 03:25:31 PM »

I talked about this on another thread on here..  but underselling..  The seller takes your pictures and your description and resells it on their site.  Most try to pick sellers that don't re-list or try to push their stuff up the list.  When a person buys from their shop, they buy from you and give you the address of their buyer..  So you pay for the mailing and they make profit.. 

But I think shes a make and run shop..
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MinnieMay9
« Reply #11 on: March 26, 2011 08:29:33 AM »

For the pictures themselves, for the future, you could put a watermark on it.  Somewhere it would be hard to remove, like along the bottom edge of the ring band or something like that.  Then it would be a little more obvious that they are taking your pictures.
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« Reply #12 on: March 30, 2011 01:31:00 PM »

 I hate to tell you but sending yourself a SASE will NOT do a darn thing in court! THIS IS WHAT YOU MUST DO! is it really worth it? 45.00 PER pic, and then your lawyer etc for someone to shut down and reopen..Think about it she is not the person we would all run with that is for sure BUT not ill-eagle what she is doing and YOU should watermark all your pics so someone cant do that to you that is the sad fact and bottom line...BooHoo hate it that this happens but this is the ONLY way to copyright an item!!!

Register Your Photography with the U.S. Copyright Office

Although you may register your photos at anytime, you may only recover the damage over the duration of your valid photography copyright registration. Without it would make recovering (or partial recovery) your attorney and court fees difficult. In order to prepare yourself before you proceed, you might consider registering your photography under these three fundamental guidelines:

   1.

      You must register your already-published photos within three month of the date of your publication.
   2.

      You must register your yet-to-be published photos before the infringement.
   3.

      In order to qualify for copyright, your work must be tangible (on print, on media, not just an idea) and original.

Copyright: Short Form VAIt only costs you $45! To register, contact the Register of Copyrights, Library of Congress, Washington DC, 20559, and obtain the Works of Visual Art (VA) Form, or Short Form VA.

You may register a multitude of works under one registration fee. To get your money's worth and speed up your filing process, include as many digital photos as you can onto a single CD or DVD. You are not required to include high-resolution images, as long as your photos could be clearly identified and compared with a "violation"; photo dimension ranging between 250 to 300 pixels should suffice.
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« Reply #13 on: March 31, 2011 09:07:32 AM »

I talked about this on another thread on here..  but underselling..  The seller takes your pictures and your description and resells it on their site.  Most try to pick sellers that don't re-list or try to push their stuff up the list.  When a person buys from their shop, they buy from you and give you the address of their buyer..  So you pay for the mailing and they make profit.. 

But I think shes a make and run shop..



How frickin shady is that.   Geez...the levels humanity can sink to.  And have zero conscience.  Seriously, how do they sleep at night.
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« Reply #14 on: April 06, 2011 04:52:29 PM »

There are things you can do to stop her B.S. thievery.

1) You can file a claim against her with Google for violating the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
http://www.google.com/dmca.html
And it would seem to me that Etsy would suffer a lot if more people did this, since they seem to not really care about copyright infringement at all. But they DMCA says they HAVE to care!

2) You can report her to RipOffReport.com.

3) If you can determine her ISP, you can report her to them. Use a DMCA Take Down Notice to do so and the ISP will have to pay attention to that, and it can result in her losing her Internet provider.

You should definitely be watermarking every photo you use in your site. There are websites that do this for free, and programs you can download for free to do it also. It only took a couple of my own photos being stolen (though not on Etsy) for me to learn my lesson. And just be sure that when you watermark you don't put the watermark in a place that it's easily removed/cropped out. It's sad that we have to do this, but unfortunately, we do.

Formally registering your photos with the US Copyright Office is the only way to have a leg to stand on in a court of law, if it were to come to that. "Poor Man's Copyright" (sending yourself things through the mail w/copyright notice on them) does NOT stand up in court, just so you know.

Most people who sell online don't legally register all their photos, but it is an option. That being said, all of your photos are legally protected by copyright law the minute they are fixed in a tangible form. But the registration is necessary if you were to go to court over something like this.
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ContessaCrafts
« Reply #15 on: April 07, 2011 05:54:19 AM »

Oh my goodness! You should definitely put water marks on you pics to prevent this mess!!
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CutYourHeartOut
« Reply #16 on: April 10, 2011 08:48:40 AM »

Ugh, that totally sucks and I'm sorry.  It has reminded me that I need to watermark my photos though.
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« Reply #17 on: April 10, 2011 10:39:48 AM »

 I'd submit her to regretsy.com. Maybe they will humiliate her into stopping.
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« Reply #18 on: April 29, 2011 05:57:38 PM »

Can you perhaps get her under trades description act(or US equivalent? I'm English). She can't be sending out what's actually in the picture when it's in your craft room can she?

It's so sad when this happens. I don't have a problem with people adapting and using my designs for inspiration but this is ridiculous. Etsy should do something though, they do say it has to be made by the seller and they are sooo obviously your pictures.

I'm considering doing Etsy but not sure how easy it would be being across the pond.

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« Reply #19 on: May 18, 2011 07:31:40 AM »

A little FYI on Copyright Law:  Anything you create is automatically protected by US Copyright Law.  The reason why people "register" is to have a formal document with all the details.  If there is no registration, you are still protected, but it may be more difficult to prove in a court type situation.  You do not need to take extra steps so that you are protected.  A simple notice in your shop is sufficient.  (I am NOT a lawyer, but I just graduated from law school with a focus on Intellectual Property.)

The most cost effective/easiest thing to do is to send a takedown notice (as mentioned before, here is also more info: http://rising.blackstar.com/how-to-send-a-dmca-takedown-notice.html).  You can also send a cease and decist letter threatening legal action (you can just google for samples.)

Here is some general copyright law info:
http://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ1.pdf
http://www.copyright.gov/help/faq/
http://www.loc.gov/teachers/copyrightmystery/
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nauticalstar8
« Reply #20 on: May 25, 2011 11:55:46 PM »

I'm so sorry to hear that someone is doing that to you. That seriously sux after all the work you put into your photos to have someone rip you off. I don't exactly remember the rules about links, but I think this one would be ok considering it's on in competition with Crafster and it's completely free. I reviewed several of watermark sites, and this one was the easiest to use. You might have to mess with it a bit to get it exactly how you want. Hope this helps!

http://picmarkr.com/index.php
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« Reply #21 on: December 19, 2011 08:10:06 AM »

Quote
A little FYI on Copyright Law:  Anything you create is automatically protected by US Copyright Law.  The reason why people "register" is to have a formal document with all the details.  If there is no registration, you are still protected, but it may be more difficult to prove in a court type situation.  You do not need to take extra steps so that you are protected.  A simple notice in your shop is sufficient.  (I am NOT a lawyer, but I just graduated from law school with a focus on Intellectual Property.)

It always shocked me that craft/art people do not know that they automatically have a copyright the instant they produce something. I do have some patterns that have a formal copyright because they always get stolen. But for line drawings etc I just always make sure I put a date on the original to prove when it was created.

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MinervaLRenfield
« Reply #22 on: December 28, 2011 03:40:33 PM »

This kind of thing has always upset me about Etsy.  They act like they're there for their sellers, but they won't do anything to help the sellers unless they absolutely have to. 
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Bleuberry
« Reply #23 on: January 02, 2012 07:30:34 PM »

I'd contact some people, see about getting it removed, then start watermarking your photos...
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PyrateWench
« Reply #24 on: January 20, 2012 11:01:08 AM »

I know this is an older thread - but I'd just like to point out some previous mis-information that someone can't "steal" your photos and copyright them against you. Digital items are considered Intellectual Property and belongs to you and you have rights to it when posted online, regardless of if you ever send in for actual copyright status. As others suggested, flagging and complaining to Etsy, sending info to Regretsy.com, watermarking your images and sending cease and desist letters to the person in question are all great tips. All your original images posted online ARE protected and do legally belong to you, so I hope the issue was resolved!
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