Petition: Tell Amazon to stop its third-party sellers from stealing intellectual property and selling it in the Amazon Marketplace
by Cindy Bendel
Tell Amazon to stop its third-party sellers from stealing intellectual property and selling it in the Amazon Marketplace
Amazon.com provides the opportunity for businesses to sell products in their marketplace. According to the “Important Information for International Sellers”, a seller has to agree that the sale and delivery of the product will not violate the intellectual property rights of others (e.g. the product manufacturer). This has not stopped numerous overseas businesses from stealing artwork and designs for Print On Demand companies like Zazzle and Society 6. For example, thousands of images for pillows and phone cases have been extracted from the websites of these POD companies. They then take these images and produce products for sale at a fraction of its normal selling price. In addition they use these stolen images to market their product listings. They are doing this without permission or license of the artist as well as the POD company. And because of the poor image quality the customer receives an inferior product. It’s a lose-lose situation for both artists and customers.
It’s a clear violation of the terms of agreement. Many artists have complained to Amazon and have gone through their infringement reporting process. Amazon has removed some listings but refuses to take down the rest. Instead of merely having a checkbox that states they agree not to violate intellectual property rights, there has to be a more active vetting process for these sellers. Perhaps a manufacturing application similar to Etsy where a seller has to explain their process in detail and get approval before selling. This is just one idea, there may be better ones out there. But Amazon needs to step in and do something, the current process is not working!! It’s too easy for stores to shut down and open another at the drop of a hat. Going after them is like playing whack-a-mole. As a customer of Amazon I’d like to think they have the customer’s interest at heart as well as the artist. By removing these egregious product listings they would improve their marketplace and make it a better shopping experience. Customers want to trust the website they’re buying from and be assured they’re not getting poor quality knock-offs. Please do something about this Amazon!
On behalf of all artists and designers who sell online I am making this petition. As for myself, I have an autistic five year old son that requires a lot of care. Selling my art and designs online has provided a way for me to make an income and pay for my son’s extensive medical care and therapy costs. Intellectual property theft of my work only jeopardizes that. What is going on at Amazon provides a vehicle to promote theft as there are few consequences for these thieves. Please join me in voicing our concerns to Amazon to institute a change. Thank you!