Monday, June 09, 2008

To Catch A Thief

Deb found something interesting the other day while browsing through designs in the CafePress marketplace. Specifically, one of our designs was in the "newest arrivals" category. The reason that was odd was because that particular image has been up since mid-2005. It really wasn't "new" by any definition. It was, however, newly stolen. Someone decided to copy it and use it as her own. After a little digging, it turned out that she did that more than once. Not to our images (thankfully), but to several hundred other people.

After some moderate to severe cursing, I sprang into action. (Well, I typed into action. My keyboard is a bit springy, so the saying still applies.) I fired off e-mails to other shopkeepers who had things stolen, and even made a phone call! (Yes, it was that important.) It took two days, but the thief's account was completely deleted. Hundreds of designers were protected from a conscienceless thief. Even if they didn't even know about it.

I've tilted at a lot of windmills in my day, but this one made me feel good. The response, while not as swift as I would have liked, was the appropriate one. And despite receiving one canned response, the other human-crafted response more than made up for it. Hell, just the fact that a windmill was successfully tilted made me happy.


Dzeni said...

Well done! I'm really pleased that #1 your work was good enough to steal and #2 that you caught the thief. Obviously having someone steal your work is a nasty experience and its great that you not only stopped them doing it to you, but nailed them on behalf of the other artists as well.

Intergalactic Stacey said...

It's sad that some people resort to stealing other people's hard work instead of attempting to be creative themselves.

Wontar said...

Thanks, Dzeni and Stacey! I hope it doesn't happen again, but at least now I know that the people to whom I report it will actually deal with the problem rather than ignore it. That makes me feel a bit better. Still, I'd like to find the thief in person and have a discussion with her about ethics. Using a blunt object as punctuation. >:)