Friday, December 25, 2015

How to send a DMCA takedown to Amazon

If you do have a copyright infringement, I do not recommend using their form, apart from then not having a copy of your takedown yourself, you will more than likely get a reply back with one of the following:

They can't delete it as it's a permanent copy in their detail page or catalog.
They can't identify the image (even though you've given them the URL)
It's a matter of contract between distributors and manufacturers.
They send you guidelines of how to submit a notice.
They say they've deleted it but when you check they haven't.

If you're sending a takedown for an image infringement that you haven't uploaded yourself, and followed the DMCA format with all the correct links, all of these answers are incorrect. I don't know if it's lack of training or just being swamped with takedowns, but it's not good! Amazon's form fails for the following reasons:

You don't get a copy of your complaint back by email (so no proof or record).
There is no way to attach images for proof of copyright.
Even if you tick that you're not an Amazon seller, they can still get that wrong (that's when you'll get the "detail page" reply.
If the product is unavailable but still shows your image, at first glance when you put in the URL or ASIN you don't see the images, you have to select "specific images" from the dropdown.

Even if you send by email you can still get a similar reply. Some people have had more success sending a pdf attachment of the takedown as well as the email.

Be prepared to send a takedown several times! Several of mine have taken 8 weeks of going round in circles to remove. Also, you have to send separate takedowns for different domains, even if they have the same ASIN! Why, when the actual image is hosted in the same location on Amazon's servers?

Meanwhile there is a petition here for all you designers that have had work stolen and put on Amazon:

And don't forget to read this blog

So anyway, they've had several replies from me, ranging from fairly calm to really annoyed now:

I did also send a link to my blog and Amazon has kindly paid a few visits, Edit, and now removed the images. Thank you! And, I've also tidied up my post as I was VERY angry at Amazon yesterday. Their form is supposed to make life easier, but it doesn't.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Counterfeits on Amazon

My, they have been busy. I'm now up to a total of 38 DMCAs, mostly pillows. For the time being I seem to have beaten mine, so now I'm informing other designers. If you ARE a designer with a pirated design, please follow through and get your design removed, we have to stamp this out! I'm sorry if you have been informed by me that your design has been stolen, but I'm only the messenger, and for those of you that really can't be bothered, you're making it worse for the rest of us. One of my latest appropriated designs was this, and it's really annoying because I spent an awful lot of post processing time on this one! A charolais calf in a field with the herd in the background - this is the real one, the other has gone.
The seller of my stolen design sent me a lovely email:
This is Happy Shops in Amazon, we received a notification about infringe your intellectual property rights. We're really sorry for that, we'll delete the item at once that is relevant with yours (B011OCJFUI ) In fact, we have no idea that the item is belong to any one's intellectual property rights. We're so innocent, just use that image because it is popular. Hope you could understand, and we promise we will not sell that again, and if possible, please inform all the designs that belong to you, we'll never infringe yours again in the future. Could you please kindly email to Amazon to withdraw the complaint through ( Thank you in advance! Christmas is coming, Hope you help to me kindly Looking forward to hearing from you. Merry Christmas!!

 To which I of course replied:
Dear Happy Shops Sorry, but no. You have an awful lot of other people’s designs in your shop, and I will also be letting these designers know. This has got to stop, Amazon is riddled with copyright theft. I’m sure you can all find enough images elsewhere without stealing them from Zazzle, RedBubble and Society6, and it’s YOU who should be taking care that they’re not stolen. You have all been taking money out of our pockets. But have a Merry Christmas too!