September 20, 2016
As promised in my previous blog post (20 Sept '16), here are some guidelines for reporting copyright violation to Alibaba. This is relevant to any artists or designers who have discovered that their artwork is being sold on products without their permission. It happened to me on a massive scale and the reporting process was, as best described by my assistant, kafkaesque to say the least.
If you're an artist or designer and you've ever shared your images online it's worth doing a Google image search to check whether your artwork is being used anywhere without your permission. Click on the camera icon, upload image and click 'search'.
If you're unfortunate enough to discover any of your artwork being used on products without your permission, firstly drop the retailer a friendly email to explain who you are and inform them that they are infringing your copyright by selling products featuring your artwork. They may be totally unaware that the products infringe your copyright, so it's worth acknowledging this while you request that they remove the items from their store immediately. Secondly, try finding out who has supplied them with these products. Whoever the source is, you should approach them to stop the supply of such goods. If in doubt, seek legal advice. You may find that the source is Alibaba (your Google image search may lead you to an Alibaba or AliExpress link) - if so read Stage 3.
If you are a UK artist or designer, I recommend joining DACS for support and future protection.
If the source is Alibaba, here's what to do (this information may go out of date if they change the system; feel free to contact me if it does):
Yes, this is a TEDIOUS process. But worthwhile. It took a bit of trial and error to work out this process, as it's not particularly clear, but let me know if the guidelines have been helpful or if the information above should be amended.
Below: Big Gladys, one of my images that was being used without permission on products sold via Alibaba
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