The backstory -
You'll remember that I had a lot of trouble a while back with my art designs being unscrupulously ripped from my online stores and then being put up for sale on the Amazon marketplace by counterfeiters (mainly from China but there were other bad actors too).
Well, it's been over a year since i've seen any of my designs being sold this way, so a little knock on wood, and a little bit of praise where it's due to Amazon becoming more successful in squishing this type of behaviour.
It's the worst feeling, as an artist, when you see your hard work being stolen in this way. At the end of the day most of us use our art to pay the rent. I've heard from other artists who are now to scared to even show their work online in fear of it being stolen by these 'bots'.
I ran a series of blogs back in 2016 showing what was happening - not blaming it on the company themselves (well, how were they to know what was someone else's art) and the steps needed to ask Amazon to take down the designs. Sometimes this would be a laborious process, but as I always admitted, Amazon were pretty fast in taking them down, once notified.
So far so good, but why the question of deleting blog posts?
Well, Amazon have launched 'Merch By Amazon', and like other Print On Demand sites such as Zazzle and Cafepress, you can now upload your designs onto t-shirts to sell. The brand recognition of Amazon is huge, hence invaluable to designers, but you have to apply to join.
I've been invited to reapply and give more information on my background as a designer. Which means giving my website details, and thus obviously those blog posts in question will show up.
So, I asked myself, should I keep them up and thereby risk being turned down by the 'Merch By Amazon' folks, or delete them to help ensure a safe passage in.
It was tempting but as sometimes happens I took my advice from unexpected sources - Mr Data from Star Trek The Next Generation -
Mr Data - "And for a time, I was tempted.."
Captain Jean-Luc Picard - "How long a time?"
Mr Data - "0.68 seconds sir. For an android, that is nearly an eternity."
The blogs were written from the point of view of the artist, and in good faith, and ultimately I hope, helped others, and also, in turn, contributed to Amazon as a company coming down hard on issues of copyright..
I'll keep you up to date on how it goes, and hopefully, if and where on Amazon you can find my wee designs!
Whit's he up tae noo?
The blog posts of David Brodie, a Scottish artist based near Glasgow.