Surely These Aren’t Handmade?

No, those items featured on the Etsy front page aren’t handmade. They are mass-produced in a factory in China. But the shop isn’t going anywhere. This post, however…. will soon be deleted, thread will be closed, someone will get muted…

Etsy Marketplace Integrity Team at work.



Copycat Thieves Taking Over Etsy

This is outrageous! This much-deserved call out will soon be swept aside by Etsy; but Rusetsy intends it to stand. These thieves will not remain anonymous. It appears the same person (or entity) has opened several shops and flooded the Etsy marketplace (and search) with stolen designs (and photos) by this seller and others while also undercutting the original designer’s prices. All of these shops are from China which fact will most probably be scrubbed from the forum post.

All of these shops should be shut down by Etsy and there should be no second chance. This is not copyright infringement or trademark infringement by accident or ignorance; this is blatant thievery and should not be tolerated.

Instead of closing down the thread (which will soon happen), Etsy Administration should be closing down the shops.




Beyond Frustration

Etsy Seller has stolen my Pic!

Another seller here on Etsy has stolen my pic (of me wearing one of my items!) I’ve contacted her & asked her to take it down & I’ve contacted Etsy Support. I haven’t received a response from either party & it’s been almost 5 days. In the meantime my photo is still on the front page of her listing. To be completely honest it’s really pissing me off! And Etsy has done nothing! Which is also pissing me off; we should be able to turn to Etsy for help in situations like this. Does anyone have any idea what I can do? I’ve had this happen before but it was on EBay. EBay made them take it down right away. I’m just so frustrated with Etsy right now!

Etsy hasn’t even bothered to respond to my message or my “report this shop”. It’s like Etsy Support doesn’t even exist!
…I’ve done everything I can. I’ve filed the DCMA takedown notice, I’ve messaged the seller twice & reported the shop twice to Etsy. I haven’t received any replies from the shop owner or Etsy. I’m beyond frustrated. Etsy is just ignoring me.
Why didn’t Etsy Support answer the first message from this customer and let her know how to proceed?? 

Etsy Says No Husband Talk in the Forums

hilarious. This forum thread contains light-humored husband-bashing. If you’ve been married for any length of time, you know this topic is normally harmless and perfectly acceptable conversation. But Etsy Administration says oh no no no. Not in our forums.

Leslie from SabiSpike5:56 pm Jan 4, 2014 EST

Heya,This topic is really better suited to Teams. We don’t make disparaging threads about others in the forums.


Don’t be sarcastic and mean. Don’t bully, harass, or bait other members into breaking Etsy’s rules.

This topic is really better suited to Teams. Gives you some idea of how Etsy Administration views teams, doesn’t it??
Ok. Well then. Let me tell you about this terrible buyer...

Safe Harbor? or Shady Harbor?

Disney sells. Even copyright-infringing Disney. And on Etsy, especially copyright-infringing Disney. And for the many shop owners selling Disney items on Etsy without proper licensing, they are breaking the law. But what about Etsy? Is it breaking the law by allowing the sale of illegal goods on its site?

Etsy claims safe harbor status under the DMCA,  which status relieves the company from liability for copyright infringement by its’ users. There are several requirements that must be met in order for Etsy to qualify and maintain this status. You can find those requirements here.

According to the linked FAQ (in part, emphasis added):

Question: What does a service provider have to do in order to qualify for safe harbor protection?

Answer (in part) …Finally, the service provider must not have knowledge that the material or activity is infringing or of the fact that the infringing material exists on its network. [512(c)(1)(A)], [512(d)(1)(A)]. If it does discover such material before being contacted by the copyright owners, it is instructed to remove, or disable access to, the material itself. [512(c)(1)(A)(iii)], [512(d)(1)(C)]. The service provider must not gain any financial benefit that is attributable to the infringing material. [512(c)(1)(B)], [512(d)(2)].

According to one attorney (emphasis added):

In addition, if the service provider has the right and ability to control the infringing activity and if the service provider receives a financial benefit directly attributable to the infringing activity, the service provider will not be protected by Section 512 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

So, I don’t know. Is Etsy protected by Safe Harbor or not?  I suppose we will only find out when the company is challenged in court and claims Safe Harbor as a defense.

In any event, since copyright infringement is illegal, it seems ethical business practices would dictate that Etsy at least discourage the unlawful sale of copyright-infringing items on its site. Does it do that?

Nowhere does Etsy policy state copyright-infringing items are prohibited; the only copyright-infringing items prohibited are those for which Etsy has received a takedown notice. Etsy seller policy states: “…. items that violate our intellectual property policies are not allowed on Etsy.”  The link goes to a notice of Etsy’s take down policy, which notice is one of the requirements for Etsy to qualify for safe harbor status.

Rusetsy has found nothing on the site stating that one cannot sell copyright-infringing items, and nowhere does Etsy make any attempt to dissuade sellers from doing so. In fact, Etsy even goes so far as to shut down forum threads where sellers point out copyright infringement. But then. Why would Etsy discourage the sale of something it profits from? Listing fees, transaction fees, direct checkout fees, and…. don’t forget search ads

Look at this list of search ad keywords. Every time a buyer searches for one of these items, Etsy profits from the paid ads using these tags. Isn’t the word “Disney” a trademark, and does Etsy have a license to profit from the “Disney” brand?? I don’t know the answer to these questions, but that harbor where Etsy is anchored seems more shady than safe.

disney  $0.000502       $0.50
disneyland      $0.001191       $1.19
disney applique $0.002312       $2.31
disney apron    $0.003786       $3.79
disney bow      $0.001697       $1.70
disney brave    $0.001263       $1.26
disney car      $0.000908       $0.91
disney christmas        $0.002084       $2.08
disney clothing $0.001489       $1.49
disney countdown        $0.005000       $5.00
disney couple   $0.005000       $5.00
disney cruise   $0.001061       $1.06
disney dress    $0.000973       $0.97
disney earrings $0.001629       $1.63
disney fabric   $0.002181       $2.18
disney font     $0.005000       $5.00
disney frozen   $0.001249       $1.25
disney halloween        $0.004411       $4.41
disney jewelry  $0.001217       $1.22
disney lanyard  $0.001238       $1.24
disney magnet   $0.002638       $2.64
disney ornament $0.001249       $1.25
disney plane    $0.001507       $1.51
disney poster   $0.003131       $3.13
disney princess $0.000733       $0.73
disney ring     $0.001889       $1.89
disney shirt    $0.001210       $1.21
disney stitch   $0.001329       $1.33
disney sweater  $0.001570       $1.57
disney sweatshirt       $0.002396       $2.40
disney tom      $0.003401       $3.40
disney up       $0.001175       $1.17
disney villain  $0.001293       $1.29
disney wedding  $0.001436       $1.44
disney world    $0.004525       $4.53