My Battle with Online Art Theft
I feel extremely defeated
Over the past couple months, I have been relentlessly trying to get unscrupulous drop shipping companies to stop selling my art that is blatantly stolen by Ali Express. The network is so large, so widespread of ruthlessly stealing from small makers, artists and craftspeople from all over the world.
They steal our intellectual property, mass produce them in China and have them drop shipped for pennies to make gigantic profits. These companies operate from all over the globe. From tax free havens, selling third party products, STOLEN by the giants of cheap online sales. If I write to one company who takes it down from their site, I discover 10 more companies like them doing exactly the same thing. Selling the exact same pieces. Some are clever enough to flip the artworks to make it look different from the original, to hide from search engines. Stealing MY original copyright protected work, then claiming innocence by saying they are outsourcing it from Ali Express in China.
I'm really defeated. I’ve filed a case with Ali Express, but they did absolutely NOTHING. Did not even acknowledge it.. in fact, they try to blocks you at every step from even trying to do anything about it.. The process is so dirty and convoluted and widespread.
I feel like a grain of sand fighting a hurricane. I feel violated. It is hard enough making a living as an artist and to know that these companies are making a mockery of my life’s work? My years of training as an artist, my blood, sweat, tears, struggles. My passion for what I do... they are hurting my little art business where I painstakingly think, create, paint, print, quality check each piece to the finest of details. Where I make lifelong relationships with people who buy my art...
The financial loss aside, it makes a joke of selling real art at real prices when these companies are selling counterfeit stolen stuff at pennies. I am fighting every one I discover. Some take them down, some don’t care. Some even try to noegotiate with me to offer me financial compensation to continue selling my work online, while Ali Express in China continues to mass produce my biggest pieces and chips away at my livelihood, passion and hard work.
THIS HAS TO STOP.
Real art, real artists matter.