Friday, November 14, 2014

"Reaping Profits through Copyright Infringement"

Sadly, sites like Etsy make it easy for ignorant thieves (ignorant of copyright law, that is, though I wonder how they don't think it's stealing), and the deliberate, it's-our-business-plan, in-your-face thieves to purloin the artistic work of others and profit from it. And, Etsy doesn't really do anything at all to stop the thieves, as this article shows. If you've been ripped off by Chinese copycats, or think it's OK to copy someone else's artistic idea and sell it as your own, or just want to become more knowledgeable about copyright law, read this informative article by Emily Danchuk.

"Since when did 'crafting' turn into '...reverse engineering'? Since when did 'Do-It-Yourself' turn into 'Do-Infringement-Yourself'? I get the idea of taking a cool design and thinking you can give it a shot by creating your own – and KEEPING IT for yourself. But too many 'crafters' and 'hobbyists' have fallen down the Etsy rabbit hole by ripping other artists’ designs off, patting themselves on the back, and – why the hell not? – selling the knock-off design themselves, at a much cheaper price point."

Ironically, even Etsy itself has fallen victim to reverse-engineering, but I have no sympathy for them given their own Terms and Conditions.

"Then came the Alibabas, Cody Fosters and 'hobbyists' of the world. These opportunists right-clicked and reverse-engineered the life out of Etsy, like vultures on fleshy road kill, leaving nothing to be imitated but unattractive needlepoint directing us to Jesus, and license plate-adorned furniture. And Etsy does nothing about it, hiding their intellectual property policies deep in their Terms and Conditions and cloaking the identity of creativity thieves."

And, here's the dirty truth:

"For companies who are making billions of dollars, you would think that they would expend at least some resources towards curbing and controlling the prevalent infringement that goes hand-in-hand with their services. But the stark and nasty truth is, they don’t have to. They can pass the buck – legally – and therefore, they’re insulated – legally – from caring and taking action."

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