Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Plagiarism: Controversy, Calling out and Someone Finally Made Me Mad Enough to Yell Uncle!

From the Etsy Forums, another copier is discovered. This time, the perpetrator is not copying a design. We’ll stay away from that controversy. Copyrights or trademarks on a design is very difficult to prove. Even the recent Urban Outfitters scandal is replete with “who copied who” accusations.

I am talking about blatant and obvious plagiarism.

Plagiarism which does violate U.S. copyright laws. Copyright laws that our government support and enforce. But what happens when the plagiarist is from a company overseas? Is it okay for another sovereign country's corporation to copy another’s stuff? Does U.S. copyright law have no effect pass our own borders?

A company based overseas has been systematically stealing photographs and product descriptions from Etsy businesses. I found this out through an Etsy Forum post. The plagiarist company website, based in China, copied photos and descriptions from several handmade artists’ work with the intention of selling the items themselves.

Huh? I know, it does not make any sense to me either.