Can you guess what happened next? I got an e-mail from Etsy saying that it was all their mistake. There was never any claim from any company against me. What really happened was something called bad and unprofessional work on their side.
Basically, Etsy accused me of violating some copyright laws with one of my prints, so they automatically banned that print from my shop and instructed me not to re-list it, otherwise my entire shop was going to be banned. In their notification they said that "X" company from the apparel business had placed a legal claim against my print. As you can imagine I was in shock. I knew that the notification had to be a mistake so I very politely asked the person from Etsy to please, take a second look at the claim because I was 100% sure that the whole case was a mistake.
Did they take a second look? The answer is no. In their notification there were no details about what product or design my print had been associated with. That was more than enough to see that something was wrong. You cannot accuse someone with no basement at all. That is common sense. I very politely asked again for those missing details but I simply was told that they could not send anything to me, instead I had to look for legal help. Unfortunately, Etsy assumed that I was wrong. This is where my disappointment started to build up. Did that mean that after being a clean and decent Etsy user for 5 years I didn't have any credibility?
After finding myself in this unexplainable situation I was forced to contact a copyright lawyer so I could start defending myself against something that I never did. Now, imagine what would have happened if I couldn't even think about the option of having a lawyer. It's an unfortunate reality that many people involved in copyright issues cannot afford to defend themselves. If that was my case I would have have to let my print stay banned and remain in limbo forever. Here is where I started thinking about the things that are wrong with Etsy as a place to have a professional store.
To make the story short I will tell you that the only reason why Etsy realized that they had made a mistake was because "X" company had to get in touch with them to clarify that they had NEVER placed any claim against me. The "X" company got in touch with them because of the actions taken on my side. When I asked Etsy to review the case, based on my clean background as a seller they said NO. They had to hear from the big company to do something. That is not right.
The e-mail sent to me by Etsy admitting their mistake was a short, dry line saying that they had made a mistake and were sorry. I had to write back in order to ask for more details before I could notify my lawyer.
Of course, I could take action against Etsy for the inconveniences that this incident generated. But instead, I have decided to share the story with you and then let go. I have been putting energy on educating myself about other shop options for the future. Because the most important lesson that I have learned from this experience is that Etsy is a vulnerable place to grow a professional business. Not only for what happened to me but many other reasons that I wasn't even aware of. This article has been a helpful one to read.
I love the Etsy community and I will always do. But I can't say the same about Etsy as a company after the way they treated me. After my incident I did lots of research and it turns out that several other Etsy sellers have been affected by Etsy's bad work in different ways . I had no idea. Looking back at my case I see that this incident could have been resolved in a minute, only if Etsy had agreed to take a quick look at my case. But they decided to believe that I was guilty without any evidence. I'm all for forgiveness but forgiveness is something that has to be earned somehow . Etsy hasn't done anything for me to believe that they are REALLY sorry about what happened. This is unfortunate but it is what it is.
I'm fine over here, happy to be over with this case and looking forward to the future!