The Curious Case Of Amazon Counterfeiters

As Amazon ramps up for its second annual Prime Day sale on Tuesday, July 12th, I feel the need to express my feelings about this company that is turning huge profits and stands to rake in even more money built around the highly anticipated Amazon Prime Day 2016 event.

I’m angry.

Before I go further, let me tell you that I used to love Amazon. I still have the index card where I jotted down my login information when I first became a member at and my join date is November 28, 1999. Yes, I was shopping on Amazon when all they sold was books and Y2K had not happened yet. Or not NOT happened yet, as it turned out. My point being that I have been a loyal customer of Amazon’s for 17 years, but right now the relationship feels like a best friend who has betrayed me. It feels like the company has set aside it’s morals and ethics in favor of skirting the legal line in order to advance profits.

I’m so distraught that I suggest you read this article about artists and our stolen work on Amazon from May of this year. It will make more sense than I can in my current state.

Designers of custom T-shirts, iPhone cases and pillow covers who sell their work through websites like Zazzle and Society6 are seeing copies of their products pop up at an alarming rate on Amazon.

The sellers, often hawking the items for a fraction of the price of the originals, range from fraudsters trying to make a quick buck to apparent bots scraping listings from other commerce sites.

In going through the formal take-down request process that Amazon requires, online merchants are not only wasting precious hours, but they’re seeing the number of fakes multiply.        |

And Amazon doesn’t make reporting and removing the infringements easy for artists. Even when worked with Amazon to provide a specialized version of the standard DMCA take down notice for Zazzle designers sent to a special email address, Amazon often replied with obfuscations and delaying tactics. “Use our online form” or “you need to provide better links” and “we apologize but you need to log into your seller account first.”

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