Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Etsy: Screwing Etsy shops one seller at a time

WallCandy, a Canadian artist and cancer survivor, has been on Etsy since 2007. Soon however WallCandy might no longer exist as WallCandy on Etsy.

A new Esty seller, Wall Candy Arts, has apparently complained to Etsy. Wall Candy Arts filed a trademark in 2002, in the US, for something very specific: "decorative plastic wall coverings and wall boarders that adhere to a painted wall surface and are easily removed and repositioned."

Etsy has given the original, Canadian WallCandy one week (ONE week) to notify customers and choose a new name. Rather than do something logical like, oh say taking 5 minutes on Google to learn that Wall Candy Art and WallCandy sell non-competing products and are based in two different countries, Etsy chooses to be boneheaded fucktards as usual.



Etsy - this is bullshit. You're an International site, right?? As you say "the Etsy community represents more than 150 countries worldwide" so ACT like it. Just because a company holds a copyright in the US, does not mean that they have a lock on a seller's shop name based out of another country.

47 Comments:

FAIL said...

A boarder is someone who boards, not a type of decorative plastic. The trademark file at the USPTO actually says boarder!

Anne Onymous said...

Careful! Copyrights and trademarks are two very different things. Copyrights are protected under treaties like the Berne Convention to which the U.S. subscribes. Trademarks are a whole 'nother animal.

This kind of fight involves lawyers and lots of other nasty things, but since WallCandy is in Canada, I suspect she could make a case if she could lawyer up. I wonder if a law school in her area would be interested in taking her on. It would be well worth a shot, since Professor X's class in trademark law may be anxious to get a little practice. The other suggestion is to get on over to the EFF (eff.org) and see what they have to say on the subject.

Somebody needs to bring these people up short. Whether it's TOS or trademark or pirated Louis Vuitton bags, the law is the law, and Etsy isn't above it.

Liss said...

WallCandyArts - Handmade???

Discord Threads said...

Fucktards and asshats is right! I finally got them to give me the refund money that was sitting in my account by sending them a Paypal invoice. Along with refunding my money they closed my account for me, since I said I was going to do it anyway. Well, I was going to do it AFTER I printed my financials for taxes. Now they have replied to my request to please send me that data that I should be able to get it from emails. I didn't save the emails cause all the info was on Etsy. My next step is to involve the IRS... Bunch of idiots... Hoping you get to keep your shop name Wall Candy! Perhaps you can sue them, and I can get the IRS after them too...

The Funny One said...

My first question is what is the personal relationship between Etsy and the shop/seller they defend? 2nd, what legal/written notice have they sent the other seller and why isn't she given the standard 60-90 days to comply?
We already know that Etsy has no real inhouse legal expertise - so who is making the claim? Is it Etsy or is it the seller they defend? Murky indeed. Is Etsy defending this seller for free?

Based on Etsy's latest disgusting behavior, I wouldn't trust any notice from Etsy -- they operate by bullying and intimidation, banning and punishment.
I doubt most of the actions they take against sellers on a daily basis have ANY legal standing at all.

Even after this past week - Etsy STILL hasn't sent out any notice required by law about the changes to their Privacy Policy. In fact, Etsy hasn't done one damn thing.

Evermore Organics said...

Yikes. I'd totally ignore that, just like I ignored stupidly worded emails from Etsy's "in house attorney".

It read something like, "i would like information on your product like where you are located and where are your items produced" only it was a longer run on sentence that had to be read more than once to make any sort of sense. I mean, it was so horribly written I thought it was spam.

Its like Etsy has nothing better to do with its time!

Whaaat said...

That is just wrong. They have no legal standing if they haven't filed an international trademark/copyright.

Now how long did it take when Hello Kitty/Sanrio filed for copyright infringement with Etsy? Nuff said.

Whaaat said...

Oh, look. They're out of NY. Go figure.

Nella said...

SHE SELLS IN WAL-MART -

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Wallies-Wallcandy-Arts-Transport/8216017

and Barnes & Noble
http://gifts.barnesandnoble.com/Wall-Candy-Art-Race-Me/e/814217010239

and just about every kid-stuff / home decor outlet you can name.

Violets new Vintage said...

I was so glad to see this post. many sellers are in WallCandys corner and hope she doesn't have to change her name! I personally think the OTHER shop should change her name to WALL ST. CANDY.

Seinfeld said...

It sure is nice to know that Etsy can shut you down if new people sign up tomorrow with even a tenuous claim to your username. I feel very secure.

/sarcasm

saywhat said...

WCA started almost 10 years ago -

http://www.facebook.com/wallcandyarts#!/wallcandyarts?sk=info

http://www.wallcandyarts.com/wallcandy-story.html

"we manufacture & distribute..."

sounds like a big co. to me not some little handmade crafter. no idea why they want to horn in on the etsy pie. Oh wait....b/c etsy isn't for small homemade crafters anymore, more like resellers & collectives.

Already found WCA on home decor sites. perfectly acceptable but to say that another shop can't use part of "their" name? there are SO many shops on etsy with similar names. this one is just throwing its well established weight around.

Chantelle said...

Fucking etsy. It isn't even their place to get involved with this kind of dispute; it's the original holder of the name in the US. Whose name is different and who isn't selling the same thing anyways.

Why the fuck can't etsy butt their asses in when, say, photos are stolen? Then they're all, "we're a venue so fuck you." but they'll get involved with this?

Assholes.

Wallcandy, I'm sorry that they're fucking you over this way. You have a lovely shop and you deserve better.

Christen said...

I had someone challenge my shop name for trademark reasons soon after I opened an Etsy shop. A non-Etsy business wrote to Etsy saying they had a trademark on the name I'd used.

It was a HUGE pain in the ass, and Etsy wouldn't say outright that trademark is not handled through their intellectual property process because that is only for copyright. Basically, anyone can complain to Etsy that someone is using their Trademark and since they spoke up first, they win.

The support person told me that answering questions about their trademark complaint process would be LEGAL ADVICE. Seriously, I still have the communications.

Blanche said...

If WallCandy has a DBA in the USA (and filed in her local County Clerk's Office), then she should hire an attorney ASAP. If Etsy does indeed enforce a new name on her or her store, then she can sue for damages and lost income as well.

sark said...

As much as it annoys me to acknowledge the law. Factually, the company that owns the trademark has the right to ask that the name on the account be changed.

Considering that they've owned the rights for more than a year — well, they have the right to their name. Etsy is a USA based company; so, while the sellers is Canadian — unless she has the Canadian copyright or patent to the name for business purposes, then, yes, the patent possessed by the company is valid.

Of course, there should be a 60-90 day period during which any username on Etsy being changed should be taking place, unless, of course, the company had already contacted the individual in question more than 60-90 days ago.

If Etsy just sent this notice out of the blue and determined that the action should be completed in the span of a week, then yes, of course, they are fucktards.

We already knew they were fucktards though. So, this is just them proving the obvious, isn't it?

As much as I happen to like the seller in question and harbor no ill will towards her, legally, the company that owns the patent or trademark or copyright has the legal right to ask that the name cease to be used on the Etsy platform.

If I registered as Coke or FolgersCoffee or JIFPeanutButter on etsy, then any one of those companies could send a valid cease and desist as far as the username is concerned.

Of course, those companies could also actually threaten legal action against Etsy for enabling a person to violate their copyrighted / trademarked / patented / licensed name.

So, if etsy sat on this for 50-80 days and then finally dragged its ass away from the plush phone to inform the person in question, well, then, that's fucking Etsy, isn't it?

Oh, the perils of attempting to sell things on the internet.

PermanentEtsyVacation said...

Just did a quick look on Etsy to see what wallcandy was since some replies here seem to think it's "The" Wall Candy. Found no fewer than 11 results for "wallcandy," several of which are actual shops (and one of which appears to be "the" Wall Candy trying to shut down the other one(s?).

Wondering if Etsy is contacting the other 10 with similar conditions to be met? Hmmmm...

Barbra said...

Fucktard is too kind....

The Funny One said...

I still want to know why Etsy is taking a legal position to defend one seller over another while claiming to be a "platform" for selling and not the legal owner of the shop. Every deliberate action Etsy takes for and against sellers costs money - so who is paying Etsy to defend one store's actions against another?

If Etsy has chosen to defend a seller who has either personal or financial ties to a paid employee and/or an Etsy investor, there's a lot more at issue here.

The overwhelming problem is - and we all know this - that once an issue like this creates seller interest and disagreement with Etsy's behavior, Etsy is MUCH MORE LIKELY to dig in and proceed as if nothing happened - that they are right and everyone else is wrong.

The more fissures exposed, the bigger the Etsy Bully. (The same Bully that made NO changes to the Privacy Settings in Your Account---Etsy is still collecting & saving this data for their own use and future profit.)

Pamela said...

I don't get the whole vinyl peel and stick thing on etsy -ETSY OWN POLICY ON SELLING HANDMADE ITEMS clearly states:

"Selling commercial or mass-produced items in Etsy's handmade categories is not permitted.

These vinyl things are not listed in supplies....

Unless she is handcutting these after pouring the sheets of vinyl and mixing the colors and doing the one-of-a-kind variety, I don't get why they are on Etsy?

boiling over said...

typical of Etsy to use a heavy hand when you don't do what they tell you to do.
They shut down one of my shops for a week because my daughter left me a good feedback (they said it was "shilling" ).
So my daughter closed her etsy shopping account. Now they are threatening to close down my two shops AND my husband's shops, because they say "we are too closely linked"
So, very soon (they only gave me one week also )etsy will have snuffed out 4 more shops of small time sellers. Are they assholes or what ??

Eveline said...

@Boiling over: too closely linked? How many Admins got their spouses, gfr/bfr, mums/dads and neighbours a shop?

Tired of Fools said...

They have trademarked the name Wall Candy Art. Have they also trademarked Wall Candy?

Seems they are two different names.

Big company throwing it's weight around to squash the little guy once again.

I'd love to know if Wall Candy Art is also going after the other "Wall Candy whatever" Etsy shops. Seems to me unless they have trademarked Wall Candy specifically, they can't do a damn thing.

Trouble is big companies can bully us anytime they want because they have the attorneys.

Violets new Vintage said...

Boiling Over said:
"Now they are threatening to close down my two shops AND my husband's shops, because they say "we are too closely linked"
So, very soon (they only gave me one week also )etsy will have snuffed out 4 more shops of small time sellers. Are they assholes or what ??"

What does too closely linked mean? All I can say in a response to that post is that
anyone who still sells on Etsy should have a back up website or venue. 'Don't put all your eggs in one basket' gets repeated in the forums over and over again and it is good advice. Etsy can deactivate your listings at anytime. So be prepared with another shop on Artfire, or anywhere else, so you have a back up place/plan.

Toaster said...

@boiling over -

Funny that they want everyone to spam their friends/relatives/distant acquaintances and then get huffy when your relatives DO get accounts. What BS.

foxaz said...

Etsy does what Etsy wants. All the time.

To try and make something good come from this, go to:

http://www.marrow.org/JOIN/

and become a bone marrow donor. You might just save a life- maybe even someone you know.

Let's go to the next level and join. Etsy may never change but each of us can make a difference for a cancer patient.

Cat Power said...

To Boiling Over...."Too closely linked"???? So what are their bloody circles, but closely linked! and all the other shit they are trying to get us to do to 'find people'?

So glad all my items have expired! They really are not too bright, to use that kind of reason for closing shops. Anyone with half a brain would ask the question I asked above.

Jenny said...

"Fucktards." HAHAHAHAHAHAH.... That's fantastic!


I did a search on etsy for "wallcandy" and no fewer than a dozen people came up.

I'd say unless she is selling mass produced stuff come on over to Artfire. MUCH nicer there. Friendly, more tools, forums!!! Oh yes, forums. I missed that.

Screw etsy's fucktardedness. They are charging down the same path as ebay.

Amy said...

This is a really hateful blog. Why are you all selling on Etsy if you hate it so much? I was thinking of opening up an Etsy shop but you're all making me think twice. Is everyone on Etsy as bitter as this group?

Violets new Vintage said...

To Amy
Not everyone on EB sells on Etsy.
I no longer sell on Etsy
Open a shop on Etsy and you will get understand blog. :)

TheKinkyOne said...

Amy dear,

Etsy used to be this fucking awesomely cool place to sell stuff that individual people made with their own two hands.

Etsy was this little internet startup by this kids in Brooklyn who were strapped enough for cash that some of us sent in our own extra craft supplies to help them out with various projects.

Etsy, instead of spending money that they didn't have, organized their own customers into enthusiastic Street Teams (the precursor to today's Teams)who spent time effort and their own supplies & money to advertise Etsy anywhere and everywhere.

Etsy encouraged the growth of a vibrant, diverse, eccentric and creative community.

Then piece by piece, cowl by cowl, and owl by owl; Etsy lost its soul. Now today Etsy is just another piece of meat in a venture capital portfolio.

So yeah, that's why this 'hateful' blog exists. That's why many haven't left yet.

If you're thinking twice about setting up a shop on Etsy, good. At least go in well-informed of some of the concerns, problems, and bullshit that is there.

The Cranky One said...

Amy - Etsy is great if:

You don't care about getting basic customer service for the money you pay because you won't get it.

You don't care if you are shut down without so much as a explanation or warning.

You don't care that you will never see any on site promotion unless you make a select twee line of items that etsy staff lurrrrrves ever so much.

You don't care that they don't care about you or what you think.

You don't care that they think you are stupid and not worth common respect.

You don't care that they will mute you from speaking out about any of the above.

Etsy's slogon should be "what you want doesn't ener in to what we do".

OtlaMotla said...

Amy, a lot of people already have left. I haven't been renewing, and when my last item expires, I'm gone. Buh-bye.

soapdeli said...

WallCandy LLC first used the name in 2002, first used it in commerce in 2003 and registered their trademark for WallCandy in 2004. This does pre-exist the WallCandy etsy shop by 3 years. While WallCandy is in the US and WallCandy on etsy is in Canada there is the Madrid Protocol that allows you to extend your US trademark to 58 participating countries without having to apply for that trademark individually in all countries. I get that it sucks for the etsy seller, but they should seek legal advice on the issue. However, it looks like they are violating the trademark from my perspective whether or not it was intentional. I don't think people should jump to conclusions on this unless they've contacted an intellectual property lawyer and know for certain that they are defending someone for the right reasons. Regardless of whether wallcandy llc sells non-handmade items off etsy, they do own the trademark to the name wallcandy and can legally request action.

Anonymous said...

Amy Dear,
As others have said, Etsy used to be a great place to sell and socialize. Instead of encouraging or helping its sellers, it has allowed the site to be flooded with factory made items. This is in violation of its own TOU. It allows non vintage items to be sold as vintage - again violating TOU. It has ruined the search function so formerly successful sellers are now getting very few sales. It has the same people on the front page and allows the favorites to bully people in the forums. It has a bunch of changes such as circles, that serve no function at all except to get more "clicks" for the site so they can go public. Etsy has punished people randomly such at WallCandy who is the subject of this section. Etsy is poorly run and gets worse by the minute.
As for this blog being hateful? I wouldn't use that word to describe people who are tired of being lied to, burned, cheated, and disappointed in general by Etsy as hateful. I would describe them as venting in a safe place. Perhaps you should sell there for a year or more and report your experiences when you are done. You will have a different perspective.

Violets new Vintage said...

To SoapDeli,
Thank you for putting all the dates in the right places and for your reference to the 'Madrid Protocol'.
*groan*
The outcry you are witnessing regarding the removal of WallCandys shop isn't because the other 'vinyl'WallCandy acted outside the law. It is because she felt it was necessary and CHOSE to have WallCandys shop removed by using the law. It wasn't necessary. So don't say you get it, because you don't.

jenjasmine said...

Dear Amy,

I think you should open up an etsy shop! Remember, you need great photos (if you can steal them from other artists who are better photographers than you, all the better!),also, if you can put a charm on a chain, you will be golden on etsy, as long as you get accepted to the right team.
(and have awesome photos).

Remember, it isn't what you know, but rather, who you know.

The Funny One said...

This particular example of Etsy stepping into this dispute is that any action Etsy takes is questionable because of their proven track record of blatant favoritism. Etsy's formula-for-success relies on an elaborate & blatant favoritism - it's about sellers willing to game the Esty system. Those who play the game are treated in a favorable manner.

There may be hundreds of disputes about trademark and copyright, but Etsy is very selective about who it defends based on their system of faves, which pollutes the site. It also provides the basis for Find Friends, Teams and Circles, which are all designed to reinforce Etsy's Fave System (relentlessly and with a distinct negative attitude).

I bet that most sellers who ask Etsy to help them with disputes are shut out with dismissive form-emails; Etsy only sticks its expensive neck out for sellers they personally like.

The real issue is that Etsy's use of favoritism has created a site full of conflict and if THAT atmosphere has anything in the world do to with the ethics of handmade, I don't know how else to explain what the hell is so wrong with Etsy. It's taken handmade and mauled the shit out of it.

Being Reasonable said...

Taking the same name to another venue will not make a difference; it will still be seen as infringement. The trademark owner will continue to find all other Wall Candy businesses. Perhaps some of the larger companies (non-Etsy) that she is targeting will fight back.

I understand why the TM'd Wall Candy is doing this...they have to protect their mark or they will lose it. However, I don't understand how Etsy can legally enforce it without the "accused" even seeing a copy of the cease & desist letter. Etsy's handling of the situation is what is wrong here; not Wall Candy Arts' desire to protect their mark.

flakeater said...

Etsy jusy removed a bunch of my listings because the American Red Cross contacted them saying they own the rights to the red cross symbol. I had no knowledge of this and was not contacted directly, they just removed it. It is complete bullcrap!! I'm so over etsy!

PermanentEtsyVacation said...

If the trademarked WallCandy owns the trademark and can protest the name, why are they going thru Etsy to do so? They can send a C&D letter on their own and Etsy has no call to get involved. And the big guys aren't even handmade as far as I can tell, so what the hell are they doing on Etsy in the first place?

The Funny One said...

I question Etsy's involvement as well in this matter as well as several other actions made public in the last 3 months. There's something very fishy about Etsy's involvement and it's probably another example of favoritism.

I also question Admin getting their panties in a bunch about mistakes they keep making with resellers and other crap they put in their FPT's every day --- it all boils down to "personal" -- Admins takes quick action when they feel personally attacked, but when Etsy plays shit with private data, they run for the hills.

almost anonononoymus said...

Wall Boarders?!?
Another fucking illiterate .........
She actually made a bunch of comments on our WallCandy's blog. The blog that is mostly about cancer and is asking people to publicize the need for bone marrow donors. DUH

Heather said...

WallCandy shop is gone. What did she change her name to or where did she go? I'd like to support her.

Eveline said...

How about Bambi?
http://www.etsy.com/treasury/4d82929789f98eef2e672fb9/my-dearest-friend-bambi

Christa said...

This bitch is CRAZY LOL

Look at her blog. lol She is claiming to have saved Billy Ray Cyrus's marriage with her wall decals, and also claiming to have celeb status, and she's going to get chosen to decorate the Royal Wedding HAHA OMG.
How sad.

http://blog.wallcandyarts.com/wallcandys-celebrity-rescue-series-wall-decals-just-might-keep-the-cyrus-family-going-stronger-for-longer/

he may be joking but the lame photo-shopping of her "invite" and her choppy Logo copy and paste on a royal plate at the "wedding" place settings is kinda of sad, and a lot of embarrassing. It actually makes me think she doesn't actually design SHIT on her site; because those easy photoshop skills looks to be done by a 10 year old kid. LOL
I feel sorry for her stupidness:/
update on her etsy shop!
She also has removed all the items from her shop, and has ZERO sales. Karma is a bitch. Ugh smug attitude makes me wanna to online punch her website! How can someone be that cheerful about her stupid business after what she pulled on poor etsy's Wallcandy? GRRRR


http://blog.wallcandyarts.com/mind-if-we-attend-the-royal-wedding-well-bring-wall-decals/comment-page-1/#comment-3837

Anonymous said...

Here's a screenshot of a customer asking WallCandyArts about her COMPANY! she has AGENTS in different areas of the World, but she hand-makes her shit? Whatever! ugh.
http://i52.tinypic.com/1043pnd.jpg