Saturday, February 23, 2013

Alert: Copyright Law Infringement!

Hmm... I really don't like to create a drama here, and I am usually not the type to get upset easily.
Though, there is a problem that has been bugging me the last few days, and I wanted to share this with you and I really need your support and advice.

Last Tuesday, someone (I am not sure if she is a reader or not) sent me an email with a link and told me that "an individual is using your content for her personal gain".
My first reaction was "oh, ok, I better go and check it out."

When I went to the link, I saw my most well-known ruffle shirt picture and she is selling the tutorial!

What?!?!?

How come she can steal my content and sell it… something I am providing free for my readers to enjoy on my blog? Then I thought "oh, maybe she doesn't know the copyright law." Yeah, you can laugh at me for being so naive... I decided not to rush into conclusions and sent her an email to say, it is my material she is using, and it is against the copyright law. I simply asked her to take it down.

I received a comment from her which was...

"ok :)"

So, I decided to go back and see if she really removed it, then guess what I saw (You probably wouldn’t believe it too)...

She switched the picture to a different ruffle shirt which I did back in 2010 and she is still selling it. Who does that!? My initial "Oh maybe she doesn't know..." bit quickly goes out the window there.

Here is the link to it;

http://www.listia.com/auction/8389910-diy-ruffle-shirt-beautiful-elagance

Before I commented on there, someone else also asked her the question saying that "how come you can sell someone else's content, which is free" and she left the link to my tutorial (thank you whoever you are!). When I went back again to see if she has any intention to take it down, she actually hid comments telling her what she is doing is copyright infringement including mine. Also she blocked me so I can't leave any more comments.

I contacted Listia, and am right now filling out the paperwork to have the auction removed. Ugh... I wish we lived in a perfect world, where everyone is nice and honest.

So, my beloved readers... have you ever dealt with stuff like this? Do you have lots of knowledge of what to do? I would LOVE to hear your stories and advice on this matter.

Thank you so much for putting up with my not so happy post, I really appreciate it.

I will keep you posted. :(

73 comments:

  1. Gosh, what a nightmare. I've never had to deal with anything like this. I'm a soapmaker (recently started sewing) and there is only so much you can do with soap but all the techniques can be artistically altered and be made to look unique, and personal to the person who made that soap. This, however, is a blatant breech of copyright and I'm glad you are taking this further. I hope she comes to her senses though before it goes too far xx

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  2. Is she selling the actual t-shirt or the tutorial itself? I'm not lawyer, but I feel like if she is selling the t-shirt she should get the proceeds, but still have to state that it was made with your pattern. If however she is selling the tutorial as her own I think that would be a copyright infringement. And in that case I think you have done right to contact Lista about your case. It may pay to look up your own country's Copyright Act and give it a read. :) Good luck!!

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  3. Oh my goodness. I'm so sorry. I haven't dealt with anything like this before but will see if asking her to take it down will do anything. . . . Hugs.

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  4. I am completely flabbergasted by the dishonesty of some people. So unethical. Hope you stop her- it sounds like she has done this before looking at one of the comments that is still there (for the moment)

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  5. This is absolutely appalling. I have read about this type of thing happening to others and feel so sorry that it's happened to you. I had a look at the other listings of this thief, and after a quick search on google images, identified the free tutorials she had used from two other bloggers (http://apairandasparediy.com/2011/07/diy-burberry-tribal-high-heels.html#comment-24499 AND http://gypsiesister.blogspot.com.au/2012/05/make.html) I have left comments on both blogs letting them know. I don't know what you can do other than contacting Listia. I really hope you get somewhere with this as it is completely unacceptable and something I worry about happening to me too. Your blog is full of beautiful ideas and they must remain yours. Good luck and let me know if I can help in any way, Megan x

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  6. That's not a good way for her to work. Copyright laws are just that.

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  7. Non ci sono commenti da fare questo mondo virtuale è pieno di gente che fa passare per sue degli altri, sai cosa ti dico ........... POVERINI ciao ti seguo sempre, sei un mito! M.Grazia

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  8. Not personally yet but I hear this problem a lot from the blogs I read. It's so disappointing to know people don't really care about copyrights. Making a tutorial is very time consuming ...

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  9. Oh my, there is no stopping some people. I sell my own handmade Christening gowns in my etsy shop,and I get people wanting me to give them close up photo's of every detail and more. I know they only want to copy them,because I never hear from them again. It leaves a bad taste in one's mouth. I do hope you get to the bottom of it,I don't have a solution to the problem.Sorry

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  10. Hi, that is terrible, I hope Listia act promptly and resolve this for you. It was very kind of you to assume that a lack of copyright knowledge was the initial cause, you have given this person every opportunity to rectify the problem. I'm hoping for a speedy resolution :)

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  11. If she sells your pattern - that is infringement! I didn't understand if she is selling the pattern or making a custom t-shirt. Very often sellers give out permission the finished product to be sold, but obviously this is not the case and she is using your picture to get personal gain and that is infringement - I am not a lawyer - just some common sense and years working on the internet.
    A couple of months ago I found out a person who has literally mirrored my blog - I mean everything - whole blog posts stolen and posted on their blog- there were more than 200! But the wonderful people at Blogger reacted fast and took it down! I just wanted to tell you that I understand the nightmare you are going through!
    I am sure everything will sort out.

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  12. Another one:
    http://www.listia.com/auction/8407297-diy-hot-shoes-trendy

    http://www.henryhappened.com/diy-fringe-shoes-clutch.html

    Honestly, this is so silly.
    Of course you never knew if this idea has existed before, but stealing the pictures?!

    Well, it took me 2 secs to find it. All i needed to do was: Google: fringe shoes diy.

    Wish you all the best!

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  13. Luckily (for me) I've had no experience of this as yet, so I have no advice to offer I'm afraid. Just wanted to send hugs and say how sorry I am to hear your own hard work has been stolen. What a horrible person.

    S x

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  14. You are such a sweet person to have initially given them the benefit of the doubt! I find it funny that there is now a comment that comments have been removed due to people being rude ~ she is the one that is stealing!! I used the contact us link to leave a message to them in support of you.

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  15. she's now blocking comments, so I signed in with facebook and flagged her as violating the rules. I think she picked someone with too many loyal readers to mess with. She obviously has no intention of stopping and has wants to get as much profit as she can before she's stopped.

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  16. Oh- I am so sorry for you. For every good person that would NEVER do such a thing there are 2 devious people that let money pave a road for them to follow. It is sad that there are people like that out there. She is a parasite and will simply move from this particular scam to another. Too bad- I am going over and leave her a message. It is too bad there is not some way to blackball her on the internet though I expect she would just change names and go underground. Headed over to leave her a message-xo Diana

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  17. I am unable to access her site to leave a message!:<(

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  18. This is appalling to say the least! This has not happened to me. But I am equally naive in assuming people just don't do mean things that hurt others. Even though I have been burned, I still prefer to be "naive" than to expect the worst in people.

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  19. I am sorry you are having to deal with this. Just wanted to encourage you that there are a lot of us who enjoy your tutorials and would never think of doing something so mean. I truly can't believe some people. Blessings to you!!!

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  20. I went to this site and now she has posted this comment:
    "comments being hidden due to people being rude! please stop and get a life"
    unbelievable!

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  21. Its really awfull :(
    One of my friend has similar problem and she short it out quickly.

    One girl from the net, copied her pictures and puted on her own blog as hers... just cut off the watermarks. My friend didn't put them on the centre... just on sides, so was not so difficult to do it.

    Now that girl hasn't got a blog, blogger was removed it after that accident.
    But many people doing that... and I dont understand why??
    If I has not idea what to show my readers... I'm not showing... that's it.

    Take care, your blog is lovely and thank you for sharing your ideas.
    Wioletta

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  22. This doesn't appear right in any way. The only problem I see after looking at the site, is that is is bartering...not selling. That probably makes some difference in the eyes of the law....but certainly not in the moral and ethical eyes!
    Sorry you have been used...you are such a giving person and I enjoy your blog immensely.

    Terrie

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  23. So someone also contacted me saying the same thing! and on the same site.
    this person is also selling my Free pattern for a shirt design I made, created and photographed for my blog readers.
    I will also be taking further action on this, id love to know how you get on with this crappy situation

    Zoe xx

    http://gypsiesister.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/make.html#comment-form

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  24. I'm sorry to hear of this person's lack of ethics and manners by stealing your tutorial and photos for her gain. I hope Listia will intervene and put an end to her plagerism.

    I sell items on ebay and I have had my photos stolen by other sellers who use them on their listings. What I now do is put a watermark with my name clearly on the photo (in a place that cannot be cropped out easily). It is another step involved but it clearly identifies your photo and helps discourage some from trying to steal your photos.

    Good luck!

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  25. I remember this happening on another blog too, but the copy cat was selling off her blog, not an auction. Shortly after the original blogger mentioned the issue on their blog all her readers flooded the copy cats blog with complaints about copying/copyrights and soon the copy cats blog was taken down. Hope every goes over to her listing and complains. :-)

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  26. I remember this happening on another blog too, but the copy cat was selling off her blog, not an auction. Shortly after the original blogger mentioned the issue on their blog all her readers flooded the copy cats blog with complaints about copying/copyrights and soon the copy cats blog was taken down. Hope every goes over to her listing and complains. :-)

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  27. A few friends have found it to be a part-time unpaid job, tracking down all of the copyright thieves. But, yea, send notice to the server. If she still won't take everything down (& if you have access to legal advice), send her a cease&desist. Also, don't be afraid to name names on every social platform that you can reach. Unreal how some think that it isn't the same sort of thieving to take intellectual property as it is stealing a blouse from a store. :/

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  28. If it helps, I flagged that auction for violating the rules. It is after all specifically against the rules on listia to post listings for items available for free online and to use photos that aren't yours without permission.

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  29. If it helps, I flagged that auction for violating the rules. It is after all specifically against the rules on listia to post listings for items available for free online and to use photos that aren't yours without permission.

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  30. That is so terrible and I hope you are successful in stopping her. How flagrantly disrespectful. A con artist. I'm glad you listed her website. Perhaps if she get enough comments she'll pull it. Unfortunately, people like her might just grab another person's work.

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  31. I have heard and dealt with cases like this.
    Unfortunately this is internet. Prooving your rights here is really difficult. Even if it's clear that you're the owner/creator of design/painting/anything else, in internet people seem to get away with stealing very often. It's really sad thing. And it kills creativity.

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  32. Oh now it says comments are being hidden due to "People being rude"!!! I guess she finds it rude of people to point out that she's breaking the law!!!

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  33. Outrageous! Still, you're filing a case and this is hope. In our country, we're just getting used to that sort of action. Besides, most of the people that visit that site actually know your blog and your tutorials :)

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  34. This is a difficult area isnt it.
    Ive often wondered how folks manage to get away with the 'heres my version of an anthropologie'............whatever it is.......
    To me thats copying an item/idea made by someone else isnt it?
    Yours does seem to be an outright copyright infringement, so yes, chase after her!
    whats her site link?
    lets all go and make comments about the copyright issue........yes shell withhold them but it might just make her relent lol
    People and Blogger power!!

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  35. The link doesnt work.........maybe she or they have taken it of?
    Hope so!

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  36. Years ago (pre-computers) I designed hand drawn Christmas post cards that we had printed at a local Instant Copy. The next year I saw my design being sold in handy sets at another Instant Copy in town! It took several phone calls to contact the owner, who finally agreed to do the right thing, but he was not embarrassed by his employee's blatant theft.

    He was, however, annoyed with ME, a professional graphic designer. In town. Who knew people who needed his services but would now never give a recommendation for him. Ever. What kind of business person treats a potentially long-term, loyal customer like that? (Prudence prevents me from publishing my knee-jerk answer.)

    Intellectual theft has been around forever. Unfortunately the victims and outraged have to spend their time to right the wrong and further suffer insults from the offenders when they've been caught. Sorry you have to deal with this, but we've got your back, Sachiko!

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  37. That is SUPER irritating. She is hiding all the comments that say this isn't her tutorial, and commenting "that is rude" on them. I found her twitter though! https://twitter.com/officialtanaali
    It is SOOOOO not cool that she won't remove it.

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  38. The persons page and listing have now been disabled.
    Had a few emails with Listia today about the issue. I have filled out a form they forwarded to get my DIY listing removed. Have you been send that yet?

    Zoe xx
    http://gypsiesister.blogspot.co.uk

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  39. I would think there must be a way to notify the company who is running that site that she is committing fraud and copyrighting. I am just happy to hear there are people looking out for you by telling you. Way to go bloggers/readers! And if people were smart and read her comment, I would be questioning her as a seller. I'm just shocked. My recommendation is to watermark your photos. Sadly there is always someone who ruins it for others.

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  40. That is just nuts!! I am sorry thing is happening to you and they pull the listing soon.

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  41. I feel so bad for you right now. That is such a horrible thing to have happen. Definitely pursue it like you are doing. We have had some of our fun food copied for very big names with them paying contributors to steal our ideas and them taking the credit. It's terrible to know that someone is being payed by ripping you off. We were lucky by these sites immediately taking all of them down, but sometimes the damage is already done. Keep on her and hopefully she will do the right thing or be forced to.

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  42. Why on earth would someone buy it when we know how to make it now! You can tell by all of her blocked comments that people have something to say about it!

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  43. I would check Kim Komando website. She has a syndicated radio program about everything on computers and photography and 'all that techie' stuff' and is VERY knowlegable. I believe she offers help also by phone, I am sure she can be of help to you and her advice is free. kimscolumnreply@lyris.komando.com
    I truly hopes this wil be of help to you.

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  44. So sorry you had to go through this. This has happened to me twice now. I've had to fill out paper work through listia to get the auctions shut down. Once I left a comment for the action host asking them to remove the listing and they just deleted my comment. So then I shut them down. It's a pain and disheartening for sure. The only thing I can think of to do is to watermark all my images.

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  45. I am sorry Sachiko! And to answer linicat I think there is a difference between actually admitting you are trying to copy something you saw and making from someone else's design and what this lady did by actually stealing the pictures, information and entire post and reselling it. She is selling it. She isn't even just making one and blogging about it saying "hey go check out Tea Rose Home's cute ruffle shirt tutorial and here is how mine turned out". She is trying to claim she came up with the design and has the rights to sell someone else's work. Why does she think that is the question? It's not her work to do so.

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  46. Also Sachiko, I love your blog! I just think it's so disappointing people would do that! But I hope things get sorted out quickly!

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  47. Wow, did we all learn a lot today, or what? I have read several times about this very issue - it is very tricky, especially with the listing site and whether or not they act on the blatant infringement. A lot of them don't. But if enough people flag the thief, sometimes their page gets shut down. She will probably open another one somewhere else - I used to sew for a woman who did a lot of this type of infringement (in a different way) and became so uncomfortable with her way of doing business that we parted ways rather acrimoniously. I sure hope they can resolve this for you somehow, though you will never be truly compensated for the theft. Sometimes all you can hope for is for her listings to be shut down, which looks like it was the case here. You might want to start watermarking your photos (in obvious and uncroppable places) just in case. The internet can be such a beast...

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  48. It's disgusting and if you read her replies to the comments she claims that the tutorial is her work. Funny I think if I came up with my own tutorial I wouldn't use pictures from someone else's tutorial to sell it. I have a listia account that I don't think I have ever used. I don't know if it will help but I have filed a complaint and included a link to both the beautiful ruffle shirt in your header and the link with the picture of the ruffle shirt that she is trying to claim as hers. Like I said I don't know if it will help. Thanks for all of the wonderful tutorials that you have written.

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  49. We should all go and post comments on there! Hope that this gets sorted out...so sorry!!!

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  50. Kim-
    She is selling the tutorial.

    Thank you everyone for the comments. I still feel so violated, and upset about the whole thing, but recieving your supportive comments makes me feel stronger. I am going to take the matter further if I need to.

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  51. Is it possible for you to contact Listia with proof that this is a stolen item that she is listing.

    Maybe we should all try to order this from her and then fail to pay.....
    One can't leave a comment on her site because it just get's blocked.

    Is there anything you can suggest for your loyal followers?

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  52. Taanali is hiding all of the comments that expose her copyright violation, but you can flag her auction (see link in tiny type below description) to alert the Listia admins. You have to be a Listia user to do this.

    Hope the admins take action soon!

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  53. I'm probably a bit like you, cause I would never think that anyone would do this on purpose...but obviously they do! It seriously pisses me off, and I really hope you'll be able to get some help. And by the way, what kind of childish person is this?! I read the comments (well the ones she hasn't blocked yet) and oh my god...her replies are just...TOO MUCH!! Stay strong and keep fighting, ok?

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  54. This is awful! I hope you get it straightened out, and that she learns that you can't just steal from people. Keep your chin up!

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  55. I went to her page and a moderator had posted something to her, but this is her reply: "" ok thanks so much :) can u tell these people to stop making rude comments please they keep harassing me and making false accounts and writing mean things please help""

    She has blocked everyones comments on her page, which doesn't make her look good, because she keeps posting ""stop being rude"", "" leave me alone""

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  56. Hooray just looked and it looks like it got taken down! I am happy that they fixed it!

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  57. I just went to the link you gave and it says the auction was removed by Listia.
    I really hate it when people take whats not thiers.

    good luck, i love your blog.

    Michelle

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  58. I just went to the link you posted intending to leave a comment saying what she's doing is wrong (maybe if enough people do she will stop?), and I just got a message saying the auction has been removed. There were no pictures or anything. So yay for that, and hopefully she will stop now!

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  59. Oh goodness :[ How awful. I'm sorry someone did that. The link is down now and it says it has been pulled down by the site not her so that's good. I was prepared to leave a mean comment. Grr. It really ruffles my feathers when people do this kind of thing.

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  60. It happened to me before with my writing and pictures. That's why I put all the watermarks on my pictures for now. In that case, even they steal it, they can't use it anymore.

    Those kind of people are too many in this world. So sad!!!

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  61. Oh that is just so sad. I'm sorry you're having to deal with this, but at least they removed it from their site.

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  62. Oh no!! I'm so sorry. That's horrible. I don't really have any advice, but I'm just incredibly sad that someone would try and sell your hard work that you are kind enough to put out there for free. It's just disgusting. I hope Listia pulls it down.

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  63. This is terrible! There has been far too much of this going on lately. Thankfully I haven't had this happen to me yet (that I know of!), but I've been researching copyrights a lot recently for one of my new projects, and there is definitely too much gray area. This time however, you are definitely in the right! So sorry this happened to you, and I hope things get sorted out soon.

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  64. I thought clothing was not copywrite-able? I realize she is stealing your exact stuff, and while it is wrong, if the copywrite laws are not going to protect you, why bother with them? You can be mad...aggravated...and just as easily, you could be flattered someone liked your tute enuf that they thought of a market for it...really, if they are too silly to research before they buy, they deserve to be had, and you are not losing money, just the credit you deserve...just another way to try to look at it if the laws are not going to protect you...I'm sorry for you for this, I can tell you are fuming mad...

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  65. I just popped over there, and there is an alert saying that the page has been removed by Listia. That kind of stuff makes me angry not only for the creator, but for those that want to use it in a legit way. Sorry.

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  66. Her auction has been removed! Thank you everyone for your support and I really am appreciative to those of you who went the extra mile to do some digging or to contact Listia for me. Thank you, thank you so much for your time! I really wish that I could write a thank you note to each one of you.

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  67. I just went out to post a comment on the link you left and found it was taken down. I am so happy for you. I love seeing everything you create and would hate for some people to make it so you felt that you couldn't post that creativity.

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  68. That is sad and horrible and it's you that puts all the effort to make a tutorial for people to read and use...Hope fully it will get much better for you and things will sort out. I enjoy your blog very much...

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  69. I'm so sorry this has happened to you Sachiko. I belong to a blogger's group on Facebook and this has been happening quite a bit to other bloggers there.
    Listia seems to be a "hotbed" for copyright infringement.
    Even if you can't copywrite clothing, she is still in violation of copyright law by using your photo. (At least I would think so...I'm not a lawyer).
    I'm so glad the ad got taken down and thank-you for posting this and letting more readers/bloggers become aware of the problem!
    Lisa

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  70. I have faced this problem a couple years back, sio now I am leaving my website signature at all of my tutorial pictures, people are so rude & its always bad to see your work stolen by others.. I am sorry, I know how much bad you were feeling!
    I wish people can be honest everywhere.. for a peaceful world..

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  71. Oh my goodness can I relate!! First, I'm so sorry that she did this, and second, glad to here the auction was taken down.

    My blog is a hodgepodge of inspirations that I've collected from everyone all over the internet, and I would NEVER not give credit to the rightful owner, nor sell it!! I'd use the inspiration to create my own and showcase that, but never without the plug to whom I got my inspiration from!! Let alone SELL it!!

    Anyway...I have a post I'm saving for a rainy day about my copyright infringement story!! Mine wasn't a product per say, but a business idea and how they literally STOLE, word for word, my written set of rules, slapped their logo on it, and used it for their new business. Such crap!!!

    Remember that karma wins in the end, so keep your head up and keep on keeping on!! Oh, and if I may, when I post my story about my experience, may I link back to this story?? I'd love to have more "evidence" of copyright blunders!!

    I'm glad I found your blog!! You've got a new follower!!

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  72. So I didnt read all of the comments, but have you thought anout using a water mark on your photos? I personally dont like them, I feel as though they can take away from the photo, but apparently in your case you may need it. Sorry there are rude people in this world, but I love your stuff so please dont let her stifle your wonderful creativity!

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