Many of us know that in the internet age, it’s very easy for thieves to steal our art and sell it as their own on different platforms. We have submitted multiple copyright infringement complaints to Amazon about the repeated theft of our Multinational Patriot Flag designs by the same vendors. A sample of our flag designs are shown below:
In addition to filing complaints, we’ve completed our own due diligence to find and contact other artists who’s art was also stolen by these vendors. Many of these artists sell their art on Redbubble hence were fairly easy to track down to notify.
The “vendors” (thieves) on Amazon we’ve identified sell under the following usernames:
This is just a PSA to fellow artists & friends to please try and buy from the artist and not these opportunistic thieves or inform a fellow artist if you come across this scam. One way to tell if the art was created by the seller… look at the overall portfolio. If it doesn’t look like the same artist created the different designs, chances are the “vendor” stole them from multiple artists (this does not apply in all cases such as artist collectives)… but, to be sure, do a quick internet search on the image to see if it is a part of someone else’s portfolio.
While Amazon was initially helpful in removing some of the products featuring our designs, the “vendors” know it’s a cat and mouse “catch me if you can” game and just upload the stolen designs on new products (with slightly modified product URLs) with the hopes that they won’t be caught again. Something should be done about these repeat offenders! I’m still waiting on an answer from Amazon about their policy on these repeat offenders (As stated above, we’ve identified & contacted 6 different artists who’s art was stolen in addition to ours). We are also waiting on an answer to our question about money collected by Amazon on stolen art/works, especially after they’ve been notified of the stolen art/work. Hmmm….
The one thing working in our favor is that these “vendors” are also using the same titles to leverage the SEO work we’ve done. While this makes it easier to find stolen work, it’s a double-edged sword as a buyer may purchase your art from the thief and not you. So check if the same vendor has stolen other pieces of your work or if other vendors (may be the same vendor under different usernames) have also stolen your work. We're focused on Amazon since they have the largest platform but these principles apply to any platform.
Lesson? Stay vigilant. If you see something fishy, speak up and we’ll continue to do the same.
Thanks for reading! Stay creative! And please share!
~ Onjena Yo
Carbon-Fibre Media :: www.carbon-fibre.me