However, according to letters obtained by The Post from Etsy, Etsy can withhold revenue from the targeted seller’s transactions for up to 90 days if it believes the seller is a “risk.”
Mona Weiss, another Etsy merchant who received a legal notice just before Black Friday, stated, “The infringement process is really one-sided.” Weiss received a complaint saying that she was violating on copyright for adorned animal skulls, despite the fact that at least a dozen other vendors on Etsy are selling comparable things.
Even more irritating, she added, was the absence of a copyright citation in the complaint. Weiss, who owns Laughing Skull Studio in Ohio, said she looked through the federal copyright database and found nothing.
“Anyone may make an allegation,” stated Weiss. “I feel the seller intended to take me out of the running for Black Friday.”
It isn’t only Etsy. Former Amazon executive Chris McCabe, now an e-commerce consultant, claimed the take-down requests are a “regular practice” on the Seattle-based e-commerce giant’s site and are sometimes issued from bogus e-mail accounts.
One of McCabe’s clients who sell on Amazon lost more than $1 million in sales as a result of a phony copyright complaint, and another seller was targeted 14 times, he added.
“These complaints are typically about competitor abuse,” McCabe told The Washington Post. “What matters are the claims, and Amazon is frightened of being accused of failing to safeguard trademark rights.”