Etsy is a unique online marketplace with a focus on creative goods. It launched just over a decade ago and has built a large community of “stores” that people sell from. But as the site has grown, so have the number of claims of Etsy copyright infringement. When infringement occurs, it can really hurt the business of the infringed seller. But false claims of infringement and Etsy copyright takedowns can be even worse. In this post, I will be looking at some of the copyright-related problems on Etsy, their policies, and their effects on the marketplace.
Etsy Copyright Takedowns and Procedures
Etsy has a strict policy on infringement, just like with Amazon. If you believe that someone has infringed upon your work, you can easily file a notice to have the infringing content removed. Many products on the site are eligible for copyright protection. For example, many stores feature paintings, sculptures, and photographs, which all receive copyright protection. Obviously, someone else selling your work makes it that much harder for you to succeed with your store. You may need to file an Etsy copyright takedown notice to have their infringing content removed.
If someone believes that their product was removed in error, they may file a counter-notice with Etsy. This escalates the matter, and places the burden back on the person that filed the infringement notice. They will receive a copy of the counter-notice. Also, they must file a lawsuit against the alleged infringer within 10 days of receiving the counter-notice and let Etsy know about the suit, or Etsy will allow the removed content to go back up.
Protecting Your Content With Copyright Registration
I’ve said it many times, but the biggest misunderstanding about copyright law is how little protection you receive without a copyright registration. You cannot file a copyright infringement lawsuit without the registration. And you only have access to statutory damages if you receive your registration before someone starts infringing upon your work. It also makes sense that you want a copyright registration on Etsy. That would make it easier to show Etsy that you are the owner if you have to file an Etsy copyright takedown. Or you can use it as evidence in your favor if you have to file a counter-notice.
You may want to think about registering your product with the Copyright Office. The more popular your item is, the more people will see it. And the more people see it, the more likely it is to be ripped off by someone. Also, these are the items that will harm you most if an Etsy copyright takedown notice is filed against you. You don’t want these items removed from your store. Showing Etsy and the other owner that you have a registration will probably help you get your product back online and selling more quickly.
Working With a Copyright Attorney
While there are parts of dealing with the Etsy copyright takedown system that you can handle yourself, you may consider hiring an attorney for some things. You can probably complete and file the infringement form on your own. But you would probably want an attorney to file your copyright application. You may want to discuss the matter with a copyright attorney if you receive a takedown notice, though. And you should speak with one if you receive a cease-and-desist letter, too. In some cases, it may make sense to have an attorney send a cease-and-desist letter to the other party. Many attorneys, myself included, offer free initial consultations and can point you in the right direction.
Do You Have An Etsy Copyright Infringement Matter That Needs To Be Addressed?
Whether you need to go after an infringer, or respond to a takedown notice and get your product back on the market, I would be happy to speak with you about your Etsy issue. If you would like assistance, please call me at (314) 479-3668, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or complete the contact form found on this page to schedule your free initial consultation today. I look forward to speaking with you.