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Graphic Artists Guild

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Etsy screen shot

Copyright Infringement Reported on Etsy

Recently ArtLawJournal published an article highlighting the rampant copyright infringement which is being reported on the craft- and vintage-goods site, Etsy. ArtLawJournal identifies three key factors permitting the infringement: the participation of China-based factories in creating the goods, without any licensing oversight; the position of Etsy as a media distributor, with little responsibility in preventing copyright infringement beyond responding to DMCA requests; and the existence of popular Etsy shops which resell goods bought from wholesale online sites which often feature pirated or infringing goods.

ArtLawJournal’s follow up article offers down-to-earth advice on how artists can protect themselves and take steps if they discover their work has been infringed on Etsy. Their primary advice is for artists to register their copyrights. They also propose including either a watermark or a small copyright notice within the artwork itself, since removal of such would be proof positive of circumvention on the part of the infringer. The article includes instructions on conducting a reverse image search to ferret out images of infringed work, instructions on issuing a DMCA notice, and advice on contacting a lawyer.

Brought to our attention by @imundo.

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