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One Response to "CafePress, Self-Publishing and the DMCA #writers #copyrights #amwriting"

  1. It’s a rock and hard place for sure. I honestly think that Mr. Gardner should have followed standard DMCA procedure, or brought a claim against the user who infringed.

    It’s been a couple years since I last read my CafePress TOS, but even as far back as when I first opened a shop there in 2005 there was a section that indicated that the person had rights to use the materials they uploaded. In that sense they’ve tried to implement the standard CYA (cover your rear), and given the sheer volume of stuff that is uploaded daily I could see any screening system becoming quickly overwhelmed.

    On the other hand, as an independently published author, digital artist and digital content creator, I’ve learned that you always have to keep one eye looking for illegal reuse of your work. I’ve seen other creators get fed up with the constant theft to the point where they will remove entire online galleries so that others cannot profit from their work, but this also destroys the community and is hard on the fans.

    Unfortunately, what we’re facing is a mindset that goes back to the earliest days of the internet, namely that if you can find it online you can use it however you wish, coupled with greed. And until that changes, self-published services will always be walking a tightrope in terms of keeping procedure from overly burdening their legitimate users, and weeding out those who steal from others in order to make a quick buck.

    In terms of practicable application, I don’t really see a good solution. Probably the most workable would be a graduated system, where a new user’s uploads are checked for a period of time or base number, then weaned as they are shown to behave. Senior users would only be subject to random checks to ensure compliance, but not work-by-work scrutiny.

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