San Diego, CA asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Internet Law for California

Q: Etsy seller who copied me and was reported, filed a counterclaim stating their work is original. It is not.

I am an Etsy seller and found a listing that directly copied one that I make- this listing uses illustration that I created myself. I reported it to Etsy for copyright infringement and it was taken down the next day.

The seller then proceeds to contact me via my shop, and harass me for reporting them, threatening to report every item in my shop for copyright infringement- which would be very challenging as I have drawn all the designs in my shop. I blocked the shop owner and sent an email to Etsy about the activity, with no response.

The folllowing day I receive a notice from Etsy that the seller filed a counter claim (on the basis that the design is her work) and unless I take legal action, the infringing material is going to be back up within 10 days.

What kind of legal action needs to be taken in order to prevent this?

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Consumer Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: To address this situation, where your original artwork has been copied, and the other party has filed a counterclaim, legal action may be necessary. When a counterclaim is filed, it challenges your initial copyright infringement claim, and Etsy's policy typically requires you to take legal steps to maintain the removal of the disputed content.

You will need to consider filing a lawsuit for copyright infringement to assert your rights to the work. This involves preparing a legal complaint that outlines your ownership of the copyright, the infringement by the other party, and the damages you have suffered as a result.

Before proceeding, gather all evidence of your original work and any documentation showing the infringement. This evidence will be crucial in a legal proceeding. Also, document any communication from the other seller, especially if it includes threats or harassment, as this may be relevant.

Since this is a legal matter involving copyright law, consulting with an attorney who has experience in intellectual property law is advisable. They can provide guidance tailored to your situation, help you navigate the legal process, and ensure your rights are adequately represented in court.

Remember, taking legal action can be a significant step and may involve time and resources, but it is often necessary to protect your intellectual property and business interests in situations like these.

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