The Funky Felter is sharing a warning about safe guarding your online art work.

Well, to make a little bit longer story shorter, I was contacted by a lovely fellow Flickr user to let me know that there’s an Etsy shop stealing copyrighted images to use in their products.  Here’s the short of it…

This Etsy shop makes what are called Lomo Photo Stickers (among other photo products).  Apparently, the stickers are quite popular in other places, but I had not heard of them before being informed of the theft of my photo.  Although the actual for sale listing has been removed (it is an error message now), you can see my ripped off image in one of the shop’s sold items.  My felted heart flower rings photo is being used (without permission!!) in the last product image, second photo to the left on the top row.  It may be a tiny sticker print, but it is still my image and my property.

I’m assuming, from the look of their stickers and postcards, that most of the images are being taken from Flickr or perhaps directly from Etsy sellers’ listings.  Considering the shop in question has sold over 7,000 items, there is no telling how many copyrighted images have been violated.   Since the for sale listing was removed, I am also assuming that either Etsy made them take it down, or they were warned some other way and chose to take it down.  Either way, in my opinion, the entire shop should be shut down for their blatant copyright infringement and profiting off the work of others.  I have reported the shop to Etsy, but since the shop is based in Shanghai, China, there’s probably not much else that I, or others based elsewhere, can do legally.  This is very sad indeed!  I guess the ball is in Etsy’s court now, and hopefully, they will rectify the situation.

By Linda Lanese


9 Comments so far

  1. turtle on May 29, 2010 10:14 am

    wow, so sorry about that, sad when folks have to steal from others to “be creative”

  2. Jas on May 29, 2010 10:38 am

    I still hadn’t found the image you are talking about. I looked around but don’t see it. but, the point is, YOU know where it is and that is what counts.
    it’s so sad that something like this has to happen :(
    all images should have a huge copyright mark on them, as you just never know.

  3. VTR1000 Lady on May 29, 2010 11:53 am

    My friend and I were arguing about this! Now I know that I was right. lol! Thanks for making me sure!

    Sent from my iPad 4G

  4. Becky on May 29, 2010 12:17 pm

    Nothing makes me madder than a thieving liar!

    I scanned through a bunch of what they have for sale and saw a couple of pics similar to mine but not mine.

    I hope etsy steps up and closes this shop.

  5. Charlie on May 29, 2010 3:18 pm

    This makes me so mad. Why do people steal other peoples ideas and think it’s ok. Many of them do it because they can’t be seen on the internet and they think they will get away with it.

    Creating new and original designs takes alot of work and patience. It is so heartbreaking when someone else just comes along takes it and uses it for themselves.

    There are a few people out there who just don’t care what they do except make money at the expense of others. I do believe the world is getting smaller and the chances of anyone being able to steal the designs of others to sell as their own is reducing. They will be caught it’s not if its when.

  6. Shalana, the funky felter on May 30, 2010 7:44 pm

    Thanks for posting this Linda! You are such a sweet online friend. I really appreciate you :)

    And, thanks to all who posted with such kind words of support!

  7. Mimi2six4 on August 12, 2010 9:49 am

    I looked but did not see what you are talking about. If you look on the internet there are many similiar items but that does not mean that someone stole the idea. Hearts are a dime a dozen and are found everywhere, do you honestly think that no one else has an idea that looks like yours. It is really a horrible thing to call someone a thief unless you have darn good proof that it is indeed without a shadow of a doubt theft with intent. Unique items and designs are easy to prove but a heart on a ring, honestly there must be millions of them out there.

  8. Caroline on November 13, 2010 4:18 pm

    Unfortunately there is no copyright law in China, which makes it almost impossible to stop these guys, because its not a crime there. I have no doubt your work was stolen, and can sympathize. Knowing it as good enough to be reproduced like that is very small compensation for the unthinking rip-off. I can only suggest you watermark all your photos as a means to make them less attractive to poachers like that. I am sure that it won’t bother potential buyers, or your many fans.
    In the meantime its up to all of us to report violations like that and hope the on-line market administrations start taking some responsibility for what is posted on their sites.

  9. Linda Lanese on November 14, 2010 9:23 am

    Thank you so much for your remarks and help :)


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