Enough already...

Posted by Maiko Kuzunishi on

 Few weeks ago, I came across 2 oversea Etsy sellers, each selling replicas of my designs in their shops for 1/3 - 1/4 of the price. Materials were different but they look just like my designs. So I sent them Cease and Desist messages through Etsy asking them to remove the items immediately because I created them and I own the Intellectual Property rights. 



Seeing replicas are nothing new at 9 years of doing this day in and day out. But I never get used to it. It hurts every time and it sucks every time. 

So I sent out messages for both of these sellers on the same day. They both replied back to me and they both demanded to see paperwork that the designs actually belong to me.

One seller said to me "I designed the clock because a customer brought to me a corresponding image of the clock she wanted." I said to this person "You just confessed to me that you copied!"  

I explained to them both, how US copyright protection works and gave them the link on Etsy that talks about Etsy policy and how US copyright law works in this country. I explained that I have the original files and I can initiate the process with Etsy if they refuse to comply and let them be the judge.


At the end, they complied and took down the items off their shop. But they both had bad attitude, just throwing banters at me that were totally unnecessary. One seller threw out a comment at the very end to me like "There's no protection unless there's no patent for industrial design." (which translates as 'I can pretty much keep selling your design if i want to.')

This is what I said to this seller. I said, "That's a totally backward thinking in my opinion. This is not my first time confronting other sellers who takes my exact designs and sell them online. And they all react and respond with such defensiveness. Then they want to argue about laws. But THAT is missing the point."

I said "The world wants your originality. Not a replica of someone else's. That's my point. If you do just that, we'll all appreciate what you bring to the world. That's what I hope you do and aim for. That's what I suggest everyone would do. We are all unique individuals. And we have to show the world our uniqueness. Not just coping other people's stuff. That takes away beauty from the world."

Never heard back from that person after that. I'm sure I never will. Maybe nothing will change but one can only hope.

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  • What a shame. All that you do is challenging enough without also having to combat copycats.

    I will admit, your work inspires me. But copying work is pathetic when there is so much more opportunity in friendly competition, collaboration, sharing and helping each other grow our marketplace.

    James on

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