My Shop was Shut Down by Etsy ~ How to start over??

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Tourist
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@Lovely I was not shut down due to copyright. I've never been in that situation with Etsy. As I stated I had a different problem with Etsy being unfair about shutting me down without proper explanation. My shop being shut down was based on a WHOLE other issue. My response to this forum was for the question asked by Julie on the original topic of "HOW TO START OVER". Not copy right or trade mark issues which this has clearly turned into.
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Tourist
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The problem is if you were shut down due to Trademark violations which I believe to be the case with your store and Julie's store since you both are using Trademarked or pirated items,  then the SAME THING can happen anywhere you go.  Except in the case with a site like Shopify,  the copyright owners will sue you directly instead of dealing with Etsy as the middle man.  If you keep selling the items that got you in trouble in the first place you can't expect a different result wherever you go.  It's the unwillingness to play by the rules that I find baffling.  Why would you want commercial success if it's not earned? 

 

 

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Tourist
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That is perfectly fine if you believe that is the reason but copyright was simply not the case. Look my suggestion was to Julie about how to handel starting over from Etsy and building traffic to earn sales. That is it. So thank you for whatever advice you have to offer.
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When I've asked sellers on Etsy HOW they've gone about getting permission to sell, say Batman treat bags, or Star Wars "personalized" invitations, I either get NO response, or someone telling me the Batman logo was drawn by them as inspired by Batman.  There are copyright laws regarding even fan art.  If there wasn't I'd sell my son's drawings so he could save money school.  Explaining that to someone who wanted me to MAKE Batman everything for her child's party was difficult.  I think she thought because I COULD do it, that I WOULD.  But, I refused.  Apparently Etsy only shuts down companies when the copyright owner files a complaint.  I find that to be a bit insane.  Really?  How many people has George Lucas given his Star Wars rights to?  I highly doubt it's nearly every person selling items on Etsy.  Personally in my situtaion I didn't want to be the person DC Comics decided to make an example of.  Having worked for a company designing websites and coming across the EXACT website I designed at another URL, it was shocking and maddening.  I err on the side of caution given I am not in the position to afford a lawyer at this time.  So in no way do I defend using others works without at the minimum some acknowledement.  However, with all the DIY sites, craft stores, etc. out there, I think it's going to become more and more difficult to police it.  And, clearly based on my situation - people think it's OK to do these things because they see other people doing it - and no amount of explaining helped my guess - just out and out refusal to do the job.

 

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Tourist
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I've been asked more times than I can remember to do Minecraft this or Spiderman that or My Little Pony etc.   And when I say no,  these people can find someone on Etsy that will say yes,  it's sad.  It's a cheap tactic to get a sale.   I keep wishing that Etsy would close down all those shops but they don't shut down stores unless the copyright owner makes a complaint unfortunately.  

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Mistake, s/b First Sale Doctrine
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Mistake, s/b First Sale Doctrine
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The problem is that the waters are so muddied between what is copyright infringement and what isn't.  I do fan art under the idea of parody.  However I was shut down by Etsy for it.  I've researched everything only to find out that anyone can claim infringement - not for images - but for trademark.  Words in your key word search are considered trademarked even if you don't use them together as a key word.  I had the word "The" and "rock" for a Dwayne Johnson fan art, they weren't together but because they separately were on my page I got flagged.  It is not fair that I can't use a tag of "the" and another word "rock" and still get slammed by the WWE.  I didn't even use any WWE images...in fact I create another entire work of art that is protected "Fair Use" Act.   The old saying is the bigger they are the harder they fall, and there will be someone to take the reigns from Etsy (thank you Amazon for stepping up!)  Etsy deserves to go out of business for how they treat their sellers.  And none of us, even ones that are with Etsy now, will jump ship to the new kid on the block - Amazon Handmade (will have more traffic than Etsy could even dream about).

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Tourist
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Dakota,  you would not have gotten slammed for using the keywords "the rock" if it was for instance,  an engagement ring.  But you were using it for Dwayne Johnson fan art,  and you can't do that.  Context is everything,  it is obvious in your key words in that instance that you were referring to him and not generic rocks.    Also fan art is not fair use,  you cannot sell your art commercially and say "well,  it's a parody".  That's not how fair use works.   Fan art is never going to be OK to sell.    For instance HBO has gone after a lot of the people who were making A Song of Ice and Fire fan shirts.  And JK Rowling is very protective of anything Harry Potter.   With Etsy,  you can never tell if something is OK just because someone else is doing it.  That only means they haven't been caught.   You could make a blog post about Dwayne Johnson and put your image on it and call THAT fair use,  because you're not using it commercially,  it would be editorial use.  But you can't profit from it. 

Sorry but saying that Etsy deserves to go out of business because they caught you doing something you shouldn't,  that's just sour grapes.  You are kidding yourself if you think that Amazon will allow you to sell copyrighted material.   I bet Amazon will be even more strict than Etsy,  and then I guess you could blame them for shutting you down, again. 

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Julie actually fair use can be used in any new work of art as long as it exists as a new work of art having a major percentage of the work as derivative.  It can exist As a piece of art that I created as a complete new work, I had every right to do so.  How do you think Weird Al Yankvich makes his money?  He takes the original song and videos of other artists using more than 50% of his work and 50% of the artist he is parodying work and blends them into a new work  even though it is still copy written.   Like "Beat It" was "Eat It"...same tune but different words....Weird Al.  All art evolves from another artists work.    As for Etsy.... It's not so much what they did to me that is upsetting, but it's how they handle their sellers as far as customer service..... Never able to get emails answered or speak to a live person....their needs to be an appeals process as well as consistency throughout and open lines of communication.   Amazon has that and more.  

Have a good evening.

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