Stolen Designs - Where does one start?
Posted: Tuesday, November 20, 2018 6:34:10 AM
I know, the title makes it sound like I want to know how to start stealing designs, LOL, it's just the briefest title I could come up with right now.

I've skimmed the past threads over the years re stolen designs on Amazon but never paid much attention to the details as I'm not a big store/seller so never thought my products would garner the attention of thieves.

But today after reading the post from the designer who found her pillow design all over Amazon as well as Walmart and Wish, on a whim, I went to Amazon and searched pillows using two keywords I use as tags on two similar pillow designs which have sold a number of times and lo and behold - there are my pillows as the first two results. Of the eight pages of results, my design appears five times on the first page - five different sellers.

OK, so now the questions:

#1 - (specific to Amazon):
On their product pages, directly under the product title it says "by XXX" and then over on the right sidebar it says "ships from and sold by ZZZ". What is the relationship here? In the case of the above mentioned pillow designs appearing five times, this makes 10 different names to go after instead of 5 since in each case the "by" name is always different from the "ships/sold by" name. Having difficulty wording my question but I guess it's this - which of the two names is the guiltier party?

#2 - (general):
What is an efficient way to find your designs that have been stolen? One could spend months and months going from one site to another typing in random keyword/product matchups to see if your design comes up.
The above mentioned poster mentioned doing a "reverse image search". How does one do that, and what are other ways to look for your designs outside of Zazzle?

#3) - (specific to Amazon):
To save me from doing a dreaded forum search, does anyone have a link handy for the FAQS or directions for dealing with this with Amazon?

#4) -
Doing another random Amazon search and found a pillow design I immediately recognized as it belongs to the one Zazzle designer I have Followed as I just love her work.
When you find a design you know has been stolen but it isn't yours, can you report it? Do you alert the designer somehow or do you assume they already know?

#5 -
Quote:
One of trying sellers on Amazon has done pretty good with my designs and now it's for sale on Wish.com (one of the listings says it's sold over 100,) on Sears.com and Walmart.com

Where do you see on Amazon that the product has sold?

EDITED to add #4 & #5.
Posted: Tuesday, November 20, 2018 8:43:47 AM
Col's Creations© wrote:
#1 - (specific to Amazon):
On their product pages, directly under the product title it says "by XXX" and then over on the right sidebar it says "ships from and sold by ZZZ". What is the relationship here? In the case of the above mentioned pillow designs appearing five times, this makes 10 different names to go after instead of 5 since in each case the "by" name is always different from the "ships/sold by" name. Having difficulty wording my question but I guess it's this - which of the two names is the guiltier party?

I'm not sure it matters who the original offender is; not even sure there's a means to find that out. What matters is getting the image deleted from Amazon's permanent "catalog".

This is the form for reporting:

https://www.amazon.com/report/infringement

It appears they're requiring you to have an account and to login now to report infringement. That seems new...

On the form, for "primary complaint pertains to..." choose "copyright concerns...".

This next one is what really matters. For "The specific concern is", choose "The image is used without authorization on the Product Detail Page."

Why that matters: The art is yours, not the product. Even though the product is technically being pirated, it's probably the maker who should file that claim. Just an 'educated guess' on my part (and my past success with getting things removed from Amazon. The options have changed, but this is the closest match to what I've used to report infringements in the past.)

If you go after individual sellers, you would indeed need to do all of them. But that doesn't necessarily remove the image associated with the product detail page from Amazon's permanent "catalog", used by third party sellers to create their listings.

Still, even this isn't perfect, because there's little to stop someone from uploading it again. There is no "take down, stay down" policy at Amazon, so far as I know.
Posted: Tuesday, November 20, 2018 9:14:03 AM
How to do a reverse image search:

1)go to Google

2)click on "images" in the upper right corner, next to where it asks you to sign in

3)this brings up a new search bar, click the camera icon in this new search bar

4)it gives you two choices for searching, by url or by uploaded image. Choose uploaded image and then it lets you upload an image and it searches for matches



Posted: Tuesday, November 20, 2018 10:55:13 AM
Quote:
If you go after individual sellers, you would indeed need to do all of them. But that doesn't necessarily remove the image associated with the product detail page from Amazon's permanent "catalog", used by third party sellers to create their listings.

Still, even this isn't perfect, because there's little to stop someone from uploading it again. There is no "take down, stay down" policy at Amazon, so far as I know.

Thankyou. That answers the question I didn't know how to ask. So the first main step is getting your image removed from Amazon's database, but after that there is no recourse against the sellers/shops who used it. It sounds like once one underhanded person steals your image and uses it on Amazon it is then a free-for-all where any other seller can use the image. Huh. Color me shocked that Amazon has such an, uh, open-door policy in regards to designs.

Thankyou, Susannah for the reverse-image search directions. I just tried it with the design from aforementioned pillows and found a number of other listings for it. But, I also found it on an affiliate site (thankyou whoever you are) and Pinterest.
Posted: Tuesday, November 20, 2018 12:25:34 PM
I don't use the form. I have a fairly standard DMCA takedown notice template which I send via eMail to Amazon Legal department <copyright@amazon.com>

Should Amazon not comply in due time all I have to do is send the email again this time CC it to National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center <IPRCenter@dhs.gov> and others, depending on the extend of failure on Amazons part.

Amazon is required to comply with any takedown notice which is in accordance with the law. The law doesn't require you to agree to a contract beforehand which would weaken your legal position, which is what you do if you open account with Amazon and grant them certain rights.

Read the contract carefully before you decide, whether you want to use the form with a prior login or simply write an email with the benefit of having a record on your computer of what, where and when you reported the infringement and can effortless forward the takedown to any other email address.

When Amazon really annoys me I CC the next email to the following list of addresses:
Jeff Bezos amazon CEO <jeff@amazon.com>, Garth Skovgard <garths@amazon.com>, ESR Amazon <esr-reply@amazon.com>, Cybercrime Copyright Fraud <Seattle.fbi@ic.fbi.gov>, National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center <IPRCenter@dhs.gov>, FBI Intellectual Property Theft <intellectualproperty@omb.eop.gov>, Harvard Law Press <press@cyber.law.harvard.edu>, Times Seattle <slaviolette@seattletimes.com>, Allison Ash <allison.ash@10news.com>

I left out the local police here in Germany, since it is specific to me. I do this, so that there is a record of how bad and criminal infringement is on Amazon in the hopes, that at some point law enforcement will do something about it, since I fight Amazon since 2014. And I assure you Amazon does react to the CC promptly.

Once Amazon failed to act in due time they are personally responsible and according to a guide of the FBI for violations of intellectual property rights the threshold to criminal infringement with prison time is not that high. So if everybody reports Amazon accordingly, we create pressure.

You'll find plenty of DMCA takedown templates via google.
Posted: Tuesday, November 20, 2018 4:50:49 PM
Re: emailing Bezos, I've had to do that too, when Amazon's copyright office was trying to stonewall me with stuff that wasn't even applicable to my claim. It got taken care of pretty quickly thereafter.
Posted: Tuesday, November 20, 2018 7:56:51 PM
I listed the full list except the mail addresses that are German specific an specific to my place of living which is when I go nuclear. I go nuclear when a large number is not handled within a decent amount of time or after the second email I still find the infringements online.

Most times I have a much shorter list. But any second mail involves National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center <IPRCenter@dhs.gov> and the bosses of the employees of the copyright legal department and I don't abuse the mailing list.

Only if there is real concern and according to the guide of the FBI it is outright criminal.
Posted: Tuesday, November 20, 2018 10:14:54 PM
#4. When you find someone else's work that has been stolen, notify them, so they can report it themselves.
Posted: Wednesday, November 21, 2018 2:08:12 AM
#4 Unless the artist authorizes you in writing you lack the means to do so.
Also you can never be 100% sure that it is stolen, so no.

And before informing others, ask if they want you to. I annoyed a few and had some backlash for informing fellow artists.
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