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Old 07-29-2006, 12:50 PM   #1
Agnus_Dei
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Selling artwork on E-Bay

Not sure where to post this, but here seemed about right. I recently attempted to sell an original Batman-painting i'd done on e-bay just as an experiment to see if it was worth it at all. I had seen others do the same, and really thought nothing of copyright issues or the like. That's why i was extremely surprised to find that it was taken down before anyone even had the chance to bid with no further explanation then this:

"Dear sirbolt,

Thank you for your recent auction-style listing on eBay. Unfortunately, we removed the following item(s):

120010295154 - Original Batman Painting


because Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. reported it to us for violating their intellectual property rights. When eBay is notified by a rights owner of an intellectual property rights infringement, eBay must remove the item in order to meet certain legal requirements.

The following information may help explain the reason for your listing(s) removal:

A manufacturer or intellectual property rights owner has notified eBay that this listing violates intellectual property rights. When eBay receives a report of this type of violation, we remove the listing to comply with the law.

The violation may involve:
- Using a manufacturer's photo or item description
- Listing a counterfeit or fake item
- Listing illegal copies of media such as music, movies, computer programs, and video games..."

*snip*

So here's my my question. Does anyone out there have any experience with this sort of thing? Can i only sell paintings of my own characters, or those in the public domain (ie, Tarzan, Frankenstein's monster, Cthulu, etc) or is there some special condition which must be fullfilled. how come others can sell their paintings of famous superheroes, but i can't?

Oh well, would be extremely grateful for any helpfull replies! Thanks beforehand.
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Old 07-29-2006, 01:02 PM   #2
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The enforcement is totally random but well within WB rights.
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Old 07-29-2006, 01:03 PM   #3
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I'm sure that there are others who will be able to expand on this, but as I understand it, e-bay actually has a section in its FAQ regarding this issue. I don't think that it is necessarily a case of 'others are doing it so why did mine get pulled', but more a case of yours being highlighted. I believe that e-bay trawl through the items for sale and remove any that violate copyright laws etc. They can also be alerted to any such infringements by the copyright owner(s) - as happened in your case. The sheer volume of stuff for sale on e-bay means that some stuff is going to slip through the net.

This subject has come up numerous times on here before. As far as selling drawings/paintings of copyrighted characters on e-bay goes, you may get away with it or you may not - but the point is that it it is illegal and the item will be removed if it is spotted or reported. Regarding your own characters or those that are legitimately in the public domain then there isn't a problem because they do not infringe on copyright laws.
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Old 07-29-2006, 01:06 PM   #4
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Man, that's why I haven't ever tried this.

At least they didn't ban you or anything right?

I think they're cracking down because I've seen people who regularly use characters stop doing that and just sort of hint at the character.

I knew someone who drew teddy bears as star wars characters and sold prints at cons. Allegedly, he said the Lucas people allegedly seized the prints out of his home allegedly. He moved to Japan. Allegedly. Look at the Starbucks/Kieron Dwyer situation also.

I totally understand the other side of it too but it's something to be careful about IMO.

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Old 07-29-2006, 01:20 PM   #5
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ljamal: Okey, thanks for the answer. But say i were to post an original by Simon Bisley, for examle, one used as a cover for a Batmanpublication. You think that would that be subject to the same rules?

Screeny: Thanks for the answer. I foolishly thought you could have some kind of copyright disclaimer or someting. "Batman copyright of DC comics" for example, and then not have it pulled. Oh well, Tarzan ain't half-bad, just as long as Disney don't come after me... Probably won't be very popular though.

down21: Nah, they didn't ban me, only informed me that if i persistently got complaints from copyright-holders i could possibly be banned, so it's not like i want to try my luck again.

Haha, that's a shame, would have wanted to see those alleged teddy bears!
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Old 07-29-2006, 01:23 PM   #6
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eBay has a program called VeRO that allows copyright/ trademark owners to register. Upon placing a complaint regarding an auction violating their rights, eBay will shut down said auction for the VeRO member without question.

eBay also has a system in place where users can report illegal items.

However, eBay does very little (if any) direct policing of items themselves. If they did most bootlegs would never make it on eBay.

Having an auction shut down is random because it's some employee of the copyright holder actually going through the auctions. The only comic property that is strongly enforced on eBay is Linsner's Dawn, but he takes the time to do so. Adam Hughes's girlfriend is also militant about his work as bootleg Spanish sketchbooks have popped up.

Anything completed for publication by DC is exempt as it's a DC commissioned item. However (althoug unlikely) a Bisley painting of say Superman that was not commisioned by DC could be shut down.
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Old 07-29-2006, 01:31 PM   #7
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interesting ...
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Old 07-29-2006, 01:36 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ljamal
eBay has a program called VeRO that allows copyright/ trademark owners to register. Upon placing a complaint regarding an auction violating their rights, eBay will shut down said auction for the VeRO member without question.

eBay also has a system in place where users can report illegal items.

However, eBay does very little (if any) direct policing of items themselves. If they did most bootlegs would never make it on eBay.

Having an auction shut down is random because it's some employee of the copyright holder actually going through the auctions. The only comic property that is strongly enforced on eBay is Linsner's Dawn, but he takes the time to do so. Adam Hughes's girlfriend is also militant about his work as bootleg Spanish sketchbooks have popped up.

Anything completed for publication by DC is exempt as it's a DC commissioned item. However (althoug unlikely) a Bisley painting of say Superman that was not commisioned by DC could be shut down.
ljamal- That's what I'm saying is that I think that the big companies are cracking down and possibly have people who's job it is to find this stuff on Ebay etc...I'll PM you with the names of two artists I've seen go from regularly using comic characters to only hinting at them now. Like I said I can see their point also. The paintings often sell because of the character.
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Old 07-29-2006, 02:12 PM   #9
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They aren't cracking down. They are doing the same thing that have been for years. If they were smart they would focus on specific artist and get them banned from eBay and then move on to the next one. This would do more to discourage the VeRO violations than the current random nature.
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Old 07-29-2006, 03:12 PM   #10
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Everybody has to argue about everything here. I'll email you the names I'm thinking. I've seen them change their M.O. so I've simply assumed they are cracking down.

You said: "because it's some employee of the copyright holder actually going through the auctions." we agree.

IMO it WAS easier to list things that way than it seems to be now, but not in your opinion OK?

We agree on about 90% so I'm not sure what the issue is but we can agree to disagree I guess.

Have a good weekend!

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Old 07-29-2006, 03:30 PM   #11
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I'm not disagreeing with you. It's just not as rampant as you think and it's been going on for years. However, you can't violate too many times before you get booted from eBay. The artist you mention may just be trying to avoid being booted from eBay.

Additionally, eBay will shut down and auction for keyword abuse. If you mention Spider-Man, your auction should be related to Spider-Man. htere are lots of reasons for artists changing tactics and few are likely to be due to Time Warner wasting time on eBay.
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Old 07-30-2006, 02:41 PM   #12
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Ok, thanks for clearing that up for me.
I disagree with some of what you're saying but I get a ton of info from this site. You have a membership which I don't yet so I'm not going to start something disagreeable over it. The person who started the thread did say someone on behalf of the trademark holder contacted ebay right? That's all I have to say about it.
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Old 07-30-2006, 03:00 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by down21
The person who started the thread did say someone on behalf of the trademark holder contacted ebay right? That's all I have to say about it.
Yeah that would be via eBay's VeRO program.
http://pages.ebay.com/help/tp/programs-vero-ov.html

Quote:
If you are a Verified Rights Owner and want to report a listing issue
The registered rights owner has to report the infringement.
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Old 07-30-2006, 03:24 PM   #14
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but what exactly was it about the auction that raised a red flag? could angus have sold it if he say titled his auction as "original featuring a flying rodent man"? or was it by just being a drawing of batman in general?
just curious.
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Old 07-30-2006, 03:36 PM   #15
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it was the name batman
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