Aug. 11th, 2007 02:22 pm
jan_andrea: (exist)
The eBay a$$holes are at it again.

I got another email from a disgruntled buyer who'd gotten one of my patterns in an eBay auction (this one). Apparently the PDF is a duplicate of my shopping cart cover directions. Looking at her other auctions, it seems likely that she's also ripping off at least two to three other patterns (this one, for the diaper/wipes case, and this one, for the sleep sack, and this one, for a high chair cover).


I wrote to the seller. No response yet. The buyer wrote to the seller, requesting a refund, and was refused. She has opened a dispute with PayPal, which she should win. I've opened a VeRO dispute with eBay regarding the seller, which hopefully will light a fire under her ass. The buyer also sent me a copy of what she had received from the seller, and it's a copy-and-pasted version of the shopping cart cover directions... including Sophia's picture. I am PISSED about this. I mean, damn it, what part of copyright is so hard to understand? What kind of complete jackhole rips off free works and sells them as their own?

I'm trying to find a quick and easy way to add a watermark to my images. I didn't want to do that, particularly because most of the images in the patterns have measurements and things in them, and adding text over that will make them more difficult to use, but it seems that if I want to protect my free work from assholes, I just have to bite the bullet and do it. Unfortunately, I haven't found a freeware program that will batch add watermarks AND do so on GIFs -- most seem to be for JPGs. Does anyone know of a freeware one that will do watermarks in batches? I could probably get Fireworks to do it, but that's a lot more work than I really want to put into this. I am willing to pay for a decent program, but honestly, having to pay to mark my own damned images because other assholes can't stop stealing them is pretty obnoxious :(


ETA: The buyer sent me the file; it's word for word a copy of the pattern of my site... including Sophia's picture. Her paypal dispute was answered thusly by the seller:

Item sold was for instructions on how to make shopping cart covers - the document she received included directions on how to make shopping cart covers. I did not acquire the info from the website she indicates - I have have never heard of it until now. The site I obtained the info from told me I could do whatever I wanted to with it. I am sorry if she is upset with the directions, but what was advertised is what I provided. I feel it is unfair to demand a refund for digital information that has been received by the buyer & that is as described. I have received several threatning pieces of correspondence from this buyer, and do not wish to communicate further with her. I ask that you rule in my favor seeing the item she received is EXACTLY what was being advertised.

The "threats" were the buyer telling her she needed to remove the listings and that she was writing to me :P And of course, the seller absolutely does NOT have my permission to be selling my directions. I wrote to her and said that if she obtained them from another site, I needed their URL immediately. Of course, no reply.

I also bought the sleep sack and high chair cover directions, to see if they were also copied from my site. Well, guess what? There were no files available to download. I'm guessing that she panicked and removed them from her site, but didn't take down the auctions; this gave me the opportunity to leave negative feedback (which I did) and open disputes with PayPal (which I have done). I'm very curious to see how she handles that. It's pretty much damned if she does, damned if she doesn't as far as sending me the files, unless they aren't copies of my site; if they are and she sends them, I have ammo; if she doesn't send them, my dispute is still valid. The only way she can win is if they aren't copies, which I doubt.
jan_andrea: (exist)
I got an email from a kind reader of my site, saying that she'd bought a pattern for a diaper and wipes case on eBay, then stumbled on my site and found that the PDF she'd been sent by the eBay seller was a word-for-word, pictures included, copy of my pattern. Here's the listing. She even used MY PICTURE in the listing!!


I'm filing an intellectual property infringement with eBay, but still. Who in their right mind pulls this kind of stunt? It's not like I haven't *very clearly* spelled out my copyrights on the page, and made it abundantly clear that the pattern is for personal use only. I mean, it's one thing to use the pattern to sell items made from it (and a lot of people do, despite the text on the page), but to copy the pattern itself and *sell it*?!? WFT?!?!?!

I am writing this to the seller:

I was alerted to this listing by an unfortunate buyer who then stumbled upon my pages  in a search for sling sewing directions. (If my user name doesn't make it clear, I am Jan Andrea, owner of www.sleepingbaby.net)

I must admit, I'm pretty stunned. This listing is such a blatant violation of my intellectual property rights. I don't even know where to begin with what was wrong with your selling *my* pattern as your "original" design, right down to using my photo in your listing!

I'm glad you've ended the listing (hopefully you had a change of heart and realized how wrong this was), but at the very least, I expect you to refund the two buyers' payments. I will be writing to the first buyer to alert her to the fraud. The second wrote to me, so she is aware of it already, and I will advise her to seek a refund. The pattern is *free* and was never, ever yours to sell.

I will be pursuing a VeRO with eBay. I hope that in the future, you will think many, many times before you decide to steal someone else's intellectual property for your own financial gains.
I should be far more harsh, but what the hell. I really am stunned.

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