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Etsy as a perfect platform for selling stolen digital images.


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I found my images on Etsy many times. People just resell them, as well as hundreds (or thousands) of your images too, dear microstock cotributors. There are many piratic sites, of course, where our images are. But I see even bigger problem in this Etsy thing: people, who buy images on Etsy are not pirates, they think they buy a legal content, many of them would not buy if they knew.

It's not hard to remove your images from those dishonest Etsy shops, although it takes time to make search for the images, to write etc. Usually the sellers remove stolen images from their shop when they get a message from the author. But still... Our works are being reviewed when we submit them to a microstock (somebody still manage to sell stolen images, but in general thieves do not feel too comfortable on microstocks). It's different for Etsy: the site just allows to upload any digital images, there are dozens of shops there which are full of stolen images.

By the way, do you know what some of the Etsy sellers say me about my images they resell? They say they don't resell my images, they find them in Internet and make their own svg/eps/dxf etc files "by themselves". Just great.

P.S. I forgot to say that it's all about illustrations: silhouettes, cute images, logos, icons etc. They are being resold as raster and vector files on Etsy. I don't know about photos.

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Prompted by this thread, I just had a look on etsy and immediately found some of my more successful images there.  But the sellers appear to be professionals offering a complete framing service.  So it's entirely possible that they are paying via SS or some other microstock supplier that I use.  Anyone know how I can determine this?  If so I would really like to hear how I can do this.

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1 hour ago, clivewa said:

Prompted by this thread, I just had a look on etsy and immediately found some of my more successful images there.  But the sellers appear to be professionals offering a complete framing service.  So it's entirely possible that they are paying via SS or some other microstock supplier that I use.  Anyone know how I can determine this?  If so I would really like to hear how I can do this.

No, I am not talking about physical items - prints etc, it's allowed by some microstock licenses to use images for producing physical items. I am talking about reselling digital images which is fobidden. Sorry, I forgot to specify in my post that I was talking about illustrations: silhouettes, cute images, logos etc. They are being resold a lot as raster and vector files. Maybe photos and abstract paintings are safe, I didn't check that.

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52 minutes ago, Alexandre Rotenberg said:

Care to link the thieves' ports on Etsy? Thanks

As I said in the previous comment, maybe photography is safe, but there are the shops which sell tonnes of digital illustrations from microstocks. I've recognised also top images of other SS contributors (I could not even let them know, since they do not have any contacts in SS profile)

Here are just some examples of those shops:

https://www.etsy.com/shop/MintyMarshmallows/items

https://www.etsy.com/shop/ShopSVGmarket

https://www.etsy.com/shop/6DogArts/items?ref=pagination&search_query=eps

But there are much more of it on  Etsy. They sell huge collections of vector files in their shops, maybe some of them bought those images on microstocks and redestribute them (which is not allowed too). But maybe most of them also 'take it from internet' for free and 'make files by themselves'.

I am sure, many of the SS illustrators could find their digital images on Etsy if they would make a search by description plus words 'eps' or 'vector'.

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Not all images you see being sold on other sites are stolen. There are thousands of affiliates which legally remarket our works on other sites.

https://www.shutterstock.com/explore/affiliates

I'd say that many of our sales don't even come from people buying directly on shutterstock but from affiliates such as the one you may be seeing on etsy. 

 

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1 hour ago, Felix Mizioznikov said:

Not all images you see being sold on other sites are stolen. There are thousands of affiliates which legally remarket our works on other sites.

 https://www.shutterstock.com/explore/affiliates

I'd say that many of our sales don't even come from people buying directly on shutterstock but from affiliates such as the one you may be seeing on etsy. 

  

Thank you, I know about the affiliates. But my post is about shops on Etsy.com where some people sell our images. They are not affiliates. I did mention piratic sites (and we all know that piratic sites are exist) but I never said that all the sites that sell our images are piratic. And none of those Etsy sellers I was corresponding to about my stolen images, bought my images anywhere, they 'took' it from internet.

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1 minute ago, Natwood said:

Thank you, I know about the affiliates. But my post is about shops on Etsy.com where some people sell our images. They are not affiliates. I did mention piratic sites (and we all know that piratic sites are exist) but I never said that all the sites that sell our images are piratic.

ok so try buying one of the photos from etsy and see if you get a sale of that image on shutterstock or not assuming you don't contribute to other sites. if you get the sale then they are marking up the price and reselling it. 

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3 minutes ago, Felix Mizioznikov said:

ok so try buying one of the photos from etsy and see if you get a sale of that image on shutterstock or not assuming you don't contribute to other sites.

Are you aware of how many sales at SS it cost to buy one image at Etsy ...?🤪

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2 minutes ago, Felix Mizioznikov said:

ok so try buying one of the photos from etsy and see if you get a sale of that image on shutterstock or not assuming you don't contribute to other sites. if you get the sale then they are marking up the price and reselling it. 

Sorry, but it's nonsense. I already managed the situations with my stolen files on Etsy, they've been removed, I just let other illustrators know they could check for their illustrations too. That's all.

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1 minute ago, Natwood said:

Sorry, but it's nonsense. I already managed the situations with my stolen files on Etsy, they've been removed, I just let other illustrators know they could check for their illustrations too. That's all.

Thank you and yes I did. Nothing of mine is there.

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Are you absolutely sure that those shops aren’t owned by the same artists that contribute to SS, I own a shop on Etsy and I sell here too. But yes, a lot of stolen stuff there, same as here and anywhere else on the World Wide Web. It’s simply something you need to except when selling digital goods. You can send DCMA notices all year long...

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8 hours ago, Firn said:

SInce Natwood found her (or his?) images sold on Etsy and it was not in her shop I assume she can be absolutely certain of that....

 

Absolutely right. Thank you for understanding. Reading some comments I was beginning to think that my post was not clear at all :-)

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9 hours ago, Diana Hlevnjak said:

Are you absolutely sure that those shops aren’t owned by the same artists that contribute to SS, I own a shop on Etsy and I sell here too. But yes, a lot of stolen stuff there, same as here and anywhere else on the World Wide Web. It’s simply something you need to except when selling digital goods. You can send DCMA notices all year long...

Yes, I know that some SS ilustrators have their shops on Etsy, I've seen them. Usually you can tell if the illustations in the shop belong to the same artists. But if you will make search for eps, svg, vector you'll find many shops that sell thousands of vector images in big sets and those images are in very differents style. The shops where I found my vectors (and asked the shop owners to remove them, of course) look exactly like that: like a big depots with very very different images obviously drawn by different people. Actually it's better to make a search and see on Etsy, I don't think the discussion here can make a big difference.

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