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Category: Recommended


Are you a designer on Zazzle, Society6, Cafepress oder other print on demand shops and a victom of blatant (mostly Chinese) copycat who sell cheap items with your original designs on Amazon? Many of us are affected, if not most. It happens with our most popular designs and our least popular designs alike. Anyone can be their victim and Amazon does little to help us.

Society6 and Cafepress do nothing to help us either. As far as I know, Zazzle (as of now) is the only site that really cares and tries to help their designers. They have understood that these cheap copies also hurt Zazzle’s reputation and earnings. We are not alone in this! Zazzle has even managed to make the process of reporting copies a bit easier for us, there is no need to repeatedly fill out Amazon.com’s online form!

I am writing this blog post as some kind of manual on how to find copies, how to report copies and what else there is you can do to fight back. Be warned, it will be tedious and annoying. You might even cry because it seems to be impossible to solve this but remember: The worst is to not even try it.

Please note that this “easy” process does only work with Amazon.com and there will also be copies on Amazon’s country pages (like Amazon.fr, Amazon.de and so on) that will NOT be removed via email. You will still need to hunt them down separately since they do have their own product numbers (ASIN) and you will need to fill out the online form for the respective country page. This might be a separate blog post in the future. Let’s concentrate on Amazon.com first.

How to find copies of my work?

Whether it will be easy to find your work or not depends on the amount of designs you have published online on sites like Zazzle, Society6 and Cafepress. Simply go to Amazon.com and search for titles or as unique keywords as you can imagine. I myself like to open my Society6 profile and then copy and paste each and every title of my designs from Society6 to Amazon – one by one – until I find something. This is tedious and works best when you are using the same titles on all pod websites. You could also concentrate on your 10 most popular designs on Society6 and Zazzle but then you might miss out a design. I have one design that I have never sold on Zazzle or Society6 but it keeps popping up on Amazon so you can never know what copycats like and sell.

Let’s take a look at a very popular example that keeps popping up every few weeks, the title on all pod websites is “Scenic Caribbean Photo Collage”:

Stolen Design on Amazon

It is incredibly popular as pillow and smartphone case 😦 Before reporting the item you need to make sure it is a copy and not some reseller or official Amazon Marketplace account like Society6 has one. Official resellers do mention your artist name in the description or title and so does Society6. Looking at this example screenshot there is no mentioning of my artist name anywhere.

2. Have proof about your ownership

You need to have the links to your original work handy, it does not matter whether it is a product page from Zazzle or Society6 and to the piece on an online portfolio. The only thing I do make sure is that my user name is matching or similar on all proof links and I do mention this user name in my email.

3. Prepare and send email

Start a new email to “notice@amazon.com” with the subject “Zazzle Image Report”. The subject is very important. If you don’t use it, Amazon might not read your email since they usually do not accept copyright infringement reports via email!

You also need to find the ASIN from the product you want removed, it’s Amazon’s unique product number. Scroll down on the Amazon page until you get to a box with addition product info like this, which also includes the ASIN:

ASIN

Use the following template exactly as it is and replace the text in [brackets] with your info:

Dear Amazon,

I am a Zazzle and Society6 designer.

My name is [Full Name, not Artist Name].

Amazon can contact me via email at [Your Email Adress].

I understand that Amazon may share my name and my email with third-party
sellers on Amazon who posted the content I want removed.

My Copyrights: I am the owner of the following copyrights which I believe
are being infringed by listings on Amazon:
[Link to your matching Product e.g. on Zazzle on Society6]

Content on Amazon I want removed: I believe the following content on Amazon
infringes my copyright(s):
[B01K1KLE1M]

I have a good faith belief that the content(s) described above violate(s)
my rights described above, and that the use of such content(s) is contrary
to law.

I declare, under penalty of perjury, that the information contained in this
notification is correct and accurate and that I am the owner or agent of
the owner of the rights described above.

Signed,

[Your Name]
[Your Artist Name – optional]

It is important that you send out one email per design, not one email with several not matching designs.

Possible: Design 1 has been copied on a pillow and on a phone case. Report it in one email with the ASIN for the pillow and the ASIN for the phone case.

Not possible: Design 1 and 2 have been copied on pillows. Do NOT report them together in one email!

Send the email and Amazon will usually reply within a few days and have the product removed.

4. Repeat

As already mentioned, be prepared to copies popping up again and again and again. The only good thing is that when you encounter a product you had already reported before, simply search for its ASIN in your emails and copy the text including the proof links into a new report email. That way you do not have to create it all from scratch. And after a few weeks doing this, you will know what titles to search for. This will also save some time *sigh*

 

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Christine aka stine1 on Society6

Society6‘s latest artist promotion is here, get free international shipping when ordering through my shop links. This offer is valid until May 8, 2016 at Midnight Pacific Time for all products and to all countries. Why not check out some of their latest product lines from my store 🙂

 

A few weeks ago, I found out about Pixsy. It is an awesome website made for photographers and graphic designers. It starts as an image search engine but when you find an unlawful match of your photo or design on a website, you have the possibility to fight back. You can submit your copyright info and file a lawsuit. Best of all: It’s free! The only cost would be 50% of what you earn from the lawsuit. That’s the theory, I have not yet been able to test it. To be honest it is a bit tedious to click through all the possible matches after you have imported your photos (that part was easy and very user-friendly!) and what kind of success rate would starting a lawsuit with someone in Vietnam have? Mhhh….

Anyway, one match I found to be EXTREMELY interesting. Take a look at it:

I was curious to see what this is, since this is my Isla Saona Palm Tree photo on a clutch or pouch. At first, I thought that someone was blogging about a pouch they had sold with my design but little did I know!

You may be wondering why I was so sure this is my palm tree as there are many Caribbean palm trees out there and even more photos of Isla Saona… The horizon is off balance. I never cared to improve it by 1 or 2 degrees and THAT was a good decision. I keep selling items with this photo nevertheless and now it was the proof I needed that this is my photo.

So, where were we? Ah yes, I visited this blog post and read through it. At first, I did not really understand it. The blogger writes about unpacking a subscription box from Nina Garcia (never heard of her but I am not an American) and suddenly, my pouch was uncovered. From Printalloverme…. Hey wait… I never sold a pouch on Printalloverme and have not many sales in general over there. I checked my account and sales and I have never sold this pouch. And it’s getting better: A subscription box is not something unique, they are sold a 100 times or more. You can read about the Nina Garcia Subscription box by Quarterly here if you’d like.

Apparently, in June 2014 my Caribbean pouch from Printalloverme was part of the Nina Garcia Summertime Fun Box #NGQ03:

A search for the hashtag#NGQ03 had unbelievable results… More and more bloggers unpacked the box and commented on my pouch design! One of them even mentioned that it seems to be designed by Christine aka stine1!

In summary, Printalloverme had my design on pouches added to a subscription box – god knows how many af them – and never paid me my royalty!

So I wrote to Printalloverme. Not via email, but via Facebook messenger. I summed up all I knew and included several blog links all writing about my pouch. It took them almost three weeks with a few messages back and forth but I have received some compensation by now via Paypal. It is probably not the full amount I would have gotten for 100+ pouches sold but I guess Quarterly also got a discount.

I would like to thank both Pixsy and Printalloverme in helping me. This image theft happened in 2014 and Printalloverme’s team was indeed helpful and cooperative. My intention with this blog post is not to shame them – although everyone should be careful. I doubt this happened more than once, at least I did not find other Printalloverme products in Quarterly boxes.

What I would like to do is to encourage you to do an image search. Be it with Google’s Image Search, with Pixsy or other similar websites. Just do it and fight back!

About two months ago, Society6 offered free international shipping and a few dollars off their products. I could not resist and order another coffee mug (the three mugs I had ordered for Christmas 2014 came as a puzzle due to poor packaging), a tote bag with their all over print and a comfy blanket.

They sent the mug separately and it arrived within 2 weeks without any problems or extra fees for customs. It was also very well wrapped in bubble foil and therefore arrived safely.

I have ordered this design:

Santa Monica Pier Bursting Colors 11oz Coffee Mug by Christine Aka Stine1

Santa Monica Pier Bursting Colors 11oz Coffee Mug by Christine Aka Stine1

It’s one of my own very colorful Santa Monica Pier photo edits 🙂

And this is the new mug with its first coffee:

Santa Monica Pier Society6 Coffee Mug

Santa Monica Pier Society6 Coffee Mug

The quality is good, the print is excellent and shiny. There was a little greenish spot on the rim – you can see it in the photo – that I had to rub away. Probably just some color. I really love this mug and how it came out. Regular price is $15, I got it for $11.25 since its my own design and I won’t earn royalty from it 🙂

When I started with designing for print on demand websites, the Santa Monica Pier and my colorful variations of it where one of my favourite subjects. I keep selling postcards on Zazzle on a regular basis, why not check them out? They are perfect as travel souvenir or for postcrossing.

Cyanotype Santa Monica Pier Postcard
Cyanotype Santa Monica Pier Postcard by stineshop
Look at other Cyanotype Postcards at zazzle.com
Santa Monica Pier Photo Collage Postcard
Santa Monica Pier Photo Collage Postcard by stineshop
Browse Postcrossing Postcards online at Zazzle.com
Pink Santa Monica Pier Love Peace Postcard
Pink Santa Monica Pier Love Peace Postcard by stineshop
Find other Postcrossing Postcards at zazzle.com
Santa Monica Pier Pop Art Postcard
Santa Monica Pier Pop Art Postcard by stineshop
Browse Postcrossing Postcards online at Zazzle.com
Santa Monica Pier Tricolor Postcard
Santa Monica Pier Tricolor Postcard by stineshop
Check out other Santa monica pier Postcards at zazzle.com
Santa Monica Pier Latte Art Postcard
Santa Monica Pier Latte Art Postcard by stineshop
Check out other Coffee foam Postcards at zazzle.com

Zazzle has beautiful stone trivets in travertine or marble for your home, I love to design them. Here is what Zazzle has to say about them:

You used to have to get out of the kitchen if you couldn’t stand the heat. But now, with these beautiful stone trivets, we can’t wait for it to get hot in there. Crafted from high quality natural stone, it’s not only beautiful, it’s sizzling!

  • Dimensions: 6” x 6”.
  • Choose from two high quality natural stones- botticino marble or turkish travertine.
  • All designs printed in full color with fade-resistant ink.
  • Finished with cork backing for scratch-free counter and table tops.

Here is a selection of some of my trivets you can buy online:

Caribbean Collage Trivets
Caribbean Collage Trivets by stineshop
View more Photo collage Trivets at zazzle.com

Did you know that Zazzle is selling skateboard decks and complete custom skateboards with unique art from independent artists on them?

Whether you’re doing grinds on the half-pipe or kickflips in the street, this competition shaped board has supreme pop! Our decks are made of the best quality hard-rock maple and with our one-of-a-kind printing process; you get the best skateboard available in the world.

I have designed a few myself, why not check them out 🙂

Santa Monica Pier Golden Purple Bokeh Skateboard Decks
Santa Monica Pier Golden Purple Bokeh Skateboard Decks by stineshop
Look at other Santa monica pier Skateboards at zazzle.com
Sailing Boat on grey Sea Skateboard Decks
Sailing Boat on grey Sea Skateboard Decks by stineshop
Look at Sail boat Skateboards online at Zazzle.com
Bright Red Japanese Maple Tree Skate Decks
Bright Red Japanese Maple Tree Skate Decks by stineshop
Check out other Downy japanese maple Skateboards at zazzle.com

Funny word play with a fluffy lamb cartoon for animal lovers and fans of fast sports cars. Clever pun that will make everyone laugh, available on many photo gifts to buy online from my various print on demand shops. Here is a selection of some of the products from Zazzle, Cafepress, Society6 and Redbubble. Check them out to see a bigger selection of products available or visit my Pinterest board:

Lamb Borghini funny Sheep Pun Car Bumper Sticker
Lamb Borghini funny Sheep Pun Car Bumper Sticker by stineshop
Look at Lamb borghini Bumper Stickers online at Zazzle.com
Lamb Borghini funny Sheep Pun Greeting Card
Lamb Borghini funny Sheep Pun Greeting Card by stineshop
View Lamb borghini Cards online at zazzle
Lamb Borghini funny Sheep Pun Car Air Freshener
Lamb Borghini funny Sheep Pun Car Air Freshener by stineshop
Look at Lamb borghini Air Fresheners online at Zazzle.com
Lamb Borghini funny Sheep Pun Boxers
Lamb Borghini funny Sheep Pun Boxers by stineshop
View more Lamb borghini Men’s Undergarments at zazzle.com

Lamb Borghini Sticker Lamb Borghini Sticker

Lamb Borghini Trucker Hat
Lamb Borghini Trucker Hat

Lamb Borghini Hitch Cover
Lamb Borghini Hitch Cover

Lamb Borghini Keychain
Lamb Borghini Keychain

Lamb Borghini funny Sheep Pun Duvet Cover

Lamb Borghini funny Sheep Pun Duvet Cover

Both Zazzle and Cafepress do sell unique hitch covers for your car or truck. But what are hitch covers anyway?

These automotive accessories are not only stylish but very handy. They protect and mask your car’s towing hitch.

Zazzle writes about them:

Let your SUV, RV, truck, or car do the talking with a customized hitch cover! Made in the U.S.A with heavy duty plastic, this cover secures to your receiver with a hitch clip (not included). Choose from small or large to fit your 1.25″ or 2″ receiver. Your designs, images, and text are printed in full color on a metal plate to make a bold statement wherever you go.

  • Dimensions: 5.125″L x 3.875″W. Available in two sizes to fit the 1.25″ (small) or 2″ (large) receiver.

  • 2″ receiver is traditionally for SUV and Pickups; 1.25″ receiver typically fits Minivans and smaller cars.

  • Made with heavy duty plastic.

  • Secures with hitch clip (not included).

  • Printed in full color on metal plate.

  • Made in USA.

Why not check out the following covers or go directly to my Zazzle Shop and Cafepress Profile?

Statue of Liberty NYC Trailer Hitch Covers
Statue of Liberty NYC Trailer Hitch Covers by stineshop
Shop for Statue of liberty Hitch Cover online at Zazzle.com

Carved ® iPhone 6/6s Bumper Wood Case by Christine aka stine1, available on Zazzle.

Carved ® iPhone 6/6s Bumper Wood Cases

 

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