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Hello! I have a quick situation I would really love to get advice on.

Some time ago I created a sculpture of a dragon jewelry box. I produced quite a few polyurethane casts of this box and sold them.

Now, it comes to my attention that there is an individual (not going to name any names for now) listing the boxes they purchased from me and saying that they're copyright them. I have attempted to contact this person however they are refusing to discuss the matter.

What are my options here? Can I DMCA them to have it taken down (they have pictures of the box listed) or is there a better option? This is highly frustrating to me, especially because they're trying to sell my boxes at a considerable markup from what they paid for them, from me.

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( 21 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 3rd, 2011 10:15 pm (UTC)
I don't have advice, but why do you not want to name names? They are clearly in the wrong. Links and information will get you useful advice about how to proceed.

You're not the bad guy. Sounds like you've tried to clear this up privately, and continuing to protect this person helps no one but them.
Jun. 3rd, 2011 11:30 pm (UTC)
Not naming names is the best way to avoid un-necessary drama. I just want advice, and as such no names need to be provided.
Jun. 4th, 2011 01:08 am (UTC)
This is wise of you, actually, especially if you want more legal leverage.
Jun. 3rd, 2011 10:18 pm (UTC)
DCMA every place where they're sold, his hosting provider, and make sure you collect any information about the person so you can later go to court, if needed.
(Deleted comment)
Jun. 3rd, 2011 11:31 pm (UTC)
I have. They ignore everything.
Jun. 3rd, 2011 10:49 pm (UTC)
Where are they selling them exactly?

If it's not on their own website- something like Etsy for example- and you have solid proof that the box is yours and what they are selling is merely reproductions, you may be able to report the item and get it taken down with that proof.

If its on their own website, or on a website where non-handmade things can be sold (like ebay) then you will have a tougher time with this. You can try a DMCA but that is usually for intellectual property rights rather than actual production/sale rights for physical goods. Besides, its not that they aren't allowed to sell them, but that they are claiming that they created it when they didn't and thus denying the original creator of the credit they deserve.

It's a tricky situation in the sense that, while the "wrong"ness is clear cut and easily visible, it might be hard to resolve, considerably moreso than most standard art theft on the internet.
Jun. 3rd, 2011 11:05 pm (UTC)
If its their own website, maybe they could find out who hosts the website and contact the host directly.
Jun. 3rd, 2011 11:33 pm (UTC)
I'm going to do some research and see if I can figure out where they're hosted at, and give their ISP a call.
Jun. 4th, 2011 12:38 am (UTC)
You don't have to call anyone. Plug in their website into whois and find out who the host is. Most hosts have an abuse email you can send a DMCA to.

If you have trouble finding the host, try and track down a computer savvy person.
Jun. 6th, 2011 04:06 am (UTC)
As a point, I would like to make clear that the host and domain registrar can be two separate entities. Best way to find out who the host is, is by doing an A Record lookup on the domain, this gives you the host IP address. You then do a whois check on the IP address which will tell you the company the host belongs to.

Then go to the company's site and look through the legal section, they should have a department you can contact for legal notices to send your DMCA notification to.
Jun. 3rd, 2011 11:32 pm (UTC)
They're making the claims on their own privately hosted website.

I'm going to do some research and see if I can't figure out where to send a DMCA to, since they're claiming that they have the sole legal right to sell them (which is what copyright is).
Jun. 3rd, 2011 10:52 pm (UTC)
While you can't control the fact that this second party is selling the boxes they bought directly from you, nor how much they're asking for them, you do have the right to remove their false copyright. The copyright for the design falls to you and you alone. You can DMCA the website that the seller is using, but that's likely about the limit of what you can do.

It's not illegal to resell products, nor is it illegal to markup the prices that you sell them at. They just can't claim that it's their own design, is all.
(Deleted comment)
Jun. 3rd, 2011 11:33 pm (UTC)
I don't care if they sell them or not - they bought the originals and as far as I care they can smash them all with a hammer. It's the claim of copyright that's the issue here, as stated in the OP.
Jun. 4th, 2011 01:53 pm (UTC)
i don't understand that
Jun. 4th, 2011 05:15 pm (UTC)
If you buy a print or an original from an artist, you can always resell what you purchased from them. If I make 30 limited edition prints, you might buy one hoping they'll be valuable one day. Then if they are you can resell it because you have control of the print in your possession. I can't stop you because I transferred the property over to you, so I don't have a say. Did that make sense?
Jun. 5th, 2011 01:58 pm (UTC)
oh, yeh ok.
Jun. 3rd, 2011 11:32 pm (UTC)
The issue at hand is their claim to copyright. I couldn't give a damn about the re-selling.
Jun. 4th, 2011 12:07 am (UTC)
I assume you have your transaction info still? E-mails or notes or Paypal logs?
Maybe photos/etc. that predate anything of theirs?
Not to mention a number of similar products or other things that indicate stylistic similarities?
There's your proof.
Jun. 3rd, 2011 11:32 pm (UTC)
I don't have any helpful advice but that sucks, so goodluck getting them to stop!
Jun. 4th, 2011 12:05 am (UTC)
If they're on DA, DMCA DA.
If they're on Etsy, DMCA Etsy.
If they have their own homepage, DMCA their host.
Jun. 5th, 2011 11:03 am (UTC)
I just wanted to drop a note for everyone here's information. This type of activity (claiming copyright of something which you down own the copyright of) is called slander of title in the legal world. It might not be quit straightforward to use a DMCA request to get rid of this, but you can write out a cease and desist letter and send it to their host's DMCA contact and see where that goes.
( 21 comments — Leave a comment )


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