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Fri Apr 19 2019 11:22:20

Amazon Project Zero Leaves Artisan Sellers Behind

By: Reader

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Dear Ina,
Project Zero, Amazon's new offering for stamping out counterfeit items, will not help artists at all because our work is copyrighted not trademarked.  To be covered under Project Zero, or even to register your brand on Amazon under the new policy, you have to hold a US trademark. 

My brand, which is my name, is currently registered on Amazon but will no longer be offered any protection because art is not protected under trademark. We artists are the most stolen from, vulnerable online sellers. We endure our art being illegally used by Alibaba and other overseas companies, who just laugh when we ask them to remove them.

These counterfeits, aside from decimating my sales on Amazon, hurt customers as well, who get these terribly-made, pale imitations of my art.

Legal Zoom explains it better than I can:

"While trademark laws protect emblems that identify commercial goods and services in the marketplace, copyright law protects the rights of a person who produces original creative works, including paintings, film, music and literary works. ... Hence, a painting would not be eligible for trademark protection."  

When I spoke to someone at Amazon about this, he referred me to the copyright infringement form. Yes, I know about that form. Yes, I’ve used it, repeatedly. But, here is the problem. These counterfeiters do not use our names. For me to find the stolen items, I have to use generic search terms. It is extremely time consuming and I only find a fraction of them. In addition, it is, of course, after the fact. They've already been selling and profiting from my art. They keep those profits. Amazon also profits and keeps the fees it makes from these illegal goods.

And I have never seen any of these companies removed from Amazon. I have reported some of them repeatedly. And, if they are using my art illegally, I can tell you that, odds are, every one of their items with an image on it was stolen from an artist. 

I have yet to see an overseas company that has legitimate licensing agreements in place for some artwork but not others. One, for example, replied to my infringement claim, that she thought my painting was "cute clip art." Adds insult to injury. And I'll never erase the image from my brain of seeing one place that used one of my paintings as a pendant with rhinestones around it.

This issue is picking on Amazon, so I want to add that I've also never seen sellers removed from Etsy or eBay. There is one who uses my art repeatedly for "diamond painting" on Etsy, and they're still there.

Because these venues keep the fees they make from illegal items, they have no incentive, in fact the opposite, to remove them.
Warm regards,
Laura



Comments (9) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Amazon Project Zero Leaves Artisan Sellers Behind   Amazon Project Zero Leaves Artisan Sellers Behind

by: mcposty This user has validated their user name.

Fri Apr 19 11:48:06 2019

Amazon could care less, this is only to appease their corporate masters. Their corpoate masters don't want competition so any time they see you selling something they dont want you selling they just claim trademark infringement.

Amazon doesn't care about sellers or artists, just big brands.

The crackdown on Amazon can't come soon enough

Perminate Link for Amazon Project Zero Leaves Artisan Sellers Behind   Amazon Project Zero Leaves Artisan Sellers Behind

This user has validated their user name. by: NoMoreEbay

Fri Apr 19 17:42:34 2019

Counterfeits generate billions in revenue for Amazon and ebay and they are here to stay until the fed govt. intervenes.

These statements of 'fighting' counterfeits are nothing but an empty gesture from companies who only care about their bottom line. Sadly, they don't give a carp about anyone but their board and themselves.
 

Perminate Link for Amazon Project Zero Leaves Artisan Sellers Behind   Amazon Project Zero Leaves Artisan Sellers Behind

by: Whatever This user has validated their user name.

Fri Apr 19 20:46:42 2019

can't wait to see how they handle the chinese knock-off USA artist work

Perminate Link for Amazon Project Zero Leaves Artisan Sellers Behind   Amazon Project Zero Leaves Artisan Sellers Behind

This user has validated their user name. by: The End

Mon Apr 22 02:11:39 2019

Well Well,
I Trademarked last year.
But I won't sell on Amazon or Ebay.
Too populated with junk merch.
Not good enough for my brand.

Perminate Link for Amazon Project Zero Leaves Artisan Sellers Behind   Amazon Project Zero Leaves Artisan Sellers Behind

by: Tiffee Jasso This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 22 03:09:35 2019

As long as we have daily disruption in DC, Congress is not going to pass any legislation that protects online sellers', illustrators', artists',or authors' Intellectual Property. If you notice, today's Congress and the Senate for that matter get nothing done that helps working Americans, other than taking a bigger cut of their earnings..  

Perminate Link for Amazon Project Zero Leaves Artisan Sellers Behind   Amazon Project Zero Leaves Artisan Sellers Behind

by: cvsharkey This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 22 07:10:15 2019

I don't think the rights of US artists is even on the radar of our government.  

Perminate Link for Amazon Project Zero Leaves Artisan Sellers Behind   Amazon Project Zero Leaves Artisan Sellers Behind

by: hawk This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 22 07:21:43 2019

the big money people cares less about anyone. no morals.

Perminate Link for Amazon Project Zero Leaves Artisan Sellers Behind   Amazon Project Zero Leaves Artisan Sellers Behind

by: Fahrenheit451 This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Mon Apr 22 15:05:19 2019

This is one of the many reasons that I don't use Amazon or eBay to sell my works. Instead, I suggest you start your own website with strong search words which will get you noticed in this huge internet. Amazon only does what is good for Amazon, and the sellers there often get short shrift for their efforts. As for eBay, they are more interested in charging fees for selling on their site than actually selling anything or acting to protect sellers. If you want to share your work and sell it you are better off posting it on an actual art site than a shopping site. That way your copyright will be protected.

Perminate Link for Amazon Project Zero Leaves Artisan Sellers Behind   Amazon Project Zero Leaves Artisan Sellers Behind

by: Fahrenheit451 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 22 15:07:50 2019

I would like to protest the fact that many sites use https:// instead of http://. Requiring sites to use http:// only results in a 404 message. If you want to be fair to contributors, allow them to use both headers, or you will lose people like me as readers.



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