Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Infringement is no fun!

I prefer to be the bigger person in situations like these (unfortunately this has happened a few times before) but yet again someone is selling my works and has the audacity to claim them as their own. What is different about this case is the rude, unintelligent response I received from this seller... usually people will fess up and admit their mistake, maybe even apologize (like a decent person should). But not this lady.

So now I'd like to share with you So Cal Swagger an Etsy shop selling copyright/intellectual property infringing works of other Etsy artists and photographers, including myself. I don't even understand how this person even sells anything?! If she takes my tiny web based photos that are low quality, what could they possibly look like when printed at size 8x10? They must be pixelated and just awful.

I politely asked the seller to remove my items and compensate me for the two prints of my work she had illegally sold and received this response: (note the typos are original)
'I dsesigned these myself there is no signature on my prints that belong to you. I created these prints and would like for you to take them off your site immediately! LOL.....
Oh sure let me just refund you $24 to your paypal accountt. I am not sure if you think im stupid or what maybe someone in sweden would let you make such demands but where im from AMERICA land of the free that is not going to happen. Get a life honey! Who is this anyway Coco Chanel maybe you should emil chanel lol......'
Oh look there are two of my works in the featured section!

I have now taken action with Etsy's legal department. I've sent in a proper notice of infringement, as well as contacted a few of the other Etsy sellers I recognized in the shop, who are also taking legal action. I hope her shop will be shut down tonight. 

But I'm thinking this is a problem I'm going to have to deal with for the rest of my career. Whatever am I to do? I don't want to place nasty ugly distracting watermarks on my works, but what other choice do I have? Such a bummer! I would like to send a shout out thank you to all my gorgeous fans that give me the heads up every time this happens. (Hopefully not too much in the future.)

Update: My work has now been removed from her shop. Etsy took this matter very seriously and was quick to remove my work with in an hour of my claim. I'm very pleased! Also very pleased about all the support I've gotten from you all. Nice to know you all have my back! xoxo


Spils said...

Nothing like some crazy woman to make us Americans look bad. Is she for real... So Cal Swagger? haha Sounds like a wannabe rap star or some faux-urban clothing line found exclusively in the "husky" department at Sears. Classic.

caviar taste said...

UNBELIEVABLE! How disgusting are some people?! I hope she gets what she deserves!

Emily said...

What's wrong with people? I just followed the link to her "So Cal Swagger" and it looks like she's removed your artwork...which is great but too bad Etsy didn't completely shut her down! Stinks that people are so dishonest. I read her bio and feel bad for her two kids...some example she's setting! Glad you caught her! You need to do a very James Bond type illustration to commemorate your superior spy work!

blissful chick said...

i cannot believe her shop is still there!!!! what a pig

Charity said...

I am a lawyer, and I am here to say you could make quick work of her in the legal arena, because she is so blatantly wrong, wrong, wrong. You should definitely have a relationship with an intellectual property attorney to help you when these problems come up. You are soooo talented. I love your stuff! You should be spending your time creating and making beauty and not dealing with this crap.

The Dandelion Chronicles said...

I am glad that Etsy acted so swiftly at your claim, but this is a sad problem with, I fear, no immediate solving except if people started to be decent and respectful. Fat chance in her case, I guess!