Amazon, like any other multi-brand trading platform, with hundreds of thousands of different sellers, commonly faces reasons for Copyright Infringement. In this article, we will illustrate how to behave in circumstances, where you obtained a message about an Amazon copyright infringement complaint or became a sufferer of it.
What Does ‘Copyright Infringement on Amazon’ mean?
Copyright infringement is an authorized violation pursued by law that comprises the use (copying, selling, transferring) by a person or organization of material(s) authored by someone else without the author’s permission, with a final aim of getting profit.
In turn, the copyright owner can illustrate up an official complaint (letter of appeal) about the detected crime, proving that the ownership of the unique material belongs to them. The similar can be done by anybody who discovers the offense (i.e., a witness).
In the situations of trading on the Amazon platform, copyright infringement can be understood in the following two ways.
- First Interpretation: You, as the copyright owner, find or received a lead that a trader on Amazon is selling your intellectual property without appropriate authorization. This provides you the right to challenge the legality of their actions.
- Second Interpretation: You as a seller, put the products in your own store on Amazon. After some time, you are informed by mail from Amazon’s customer service that you have committed an offense. Now, if you do not instantly remove the aberrant goods for sale, you will be penalized by the platform or even sued by the copyright owner.
If your case matches with either of these options, read the following guide on conflict resolution.
Copyright Infringement on Amazon: What to perform if Your Copyright is Violated
Now, let’s know the process for appealing against copyright infringement in the event that you are a victim.
Amazon Copyright Infringement Claims
Mentioned below are the cases, where you can file a claim for Copyright Infringement:
Somebody Is Infringing My Copyright
Copyright infringement is the illegal use of another’s artistic work (picture, books, music). This usually occurs on Amazon under a few different situations:
- The seller is advertising a copyrighted item without my authorization.
- The seller copied my content.
- The seller copied my photos.
Somebody is selling my creative Works
This one is awkward. Usually, if they don’t have your authorization to sell your pictures, books, music, you can submit a copyright infringement claim to Amazon. Although, if they legally purchased your book and are now reselling it, then they are secured under the First Sale Doctrine. Thus, this violation usually occurs if they are trying to sell a “brand new” version of your picture, book, music and you not at all gave them permission.
Somebody Stole My Pictures or Written Material
If you formed the pictures (and didn’t obtain them off of Google images) then chances are that the seller is using your images is infringing your artistic work. Similar with text, if you formed the text and didn’t get them from another source, then the seller is most probably infringing your written materials.
Somebody Submitted a False Claim of Copyright Infringement against Me
The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) gives online retailers with “instructions” on how to react to claims of copyright infringement. Basically, they will eliminate the goods that are alleged to infringe. Although, if the claim is false, the person who obtains the claim may respond with a counter-notice in order to get their goods re-listed. Amazon is then given 14 business days from the date of the counter-notice to re-list the goods unless they obtain notice of pending claims.
What to do to overcome Amazon Suspension for Infringement?
Ensure that you can validate your claim
If you find out that one of the sellers on Amazon has violated your copyright, make clear that you can prove the offense. To do this, establish whether you have registered your brand (trademark) straightly on Amazon and also prove that you have a notarized signature to forbid the sale of your brand products by illegal retail and wholesale traders.
Report Your Claims
If you are clear that your claim can be easily verified and confirmed officially, proceed with the Amazon copyright infringement letter appeal. Primarily, it should be sent to Amazon customer support. Moreover, you will have to formalize your complaint by completing out the Amazon Copyright Infringement form where you require to define the essence of the issue in detail and give all related documents that confirm your legal rights and the essentials behind the violation.
At that situation – and only then – if Amazon employees are for some reason not able to help you (which is very rare), you must contact the merchant straightly. It is extremely desirable to draft such letters with the help of lawyers who will be able to point out all the details of the offense appropriately and lawfully (if you use insults and obscene language, it may act as a reason for a counterclaim).
Certainly, the seller can ignore your letter. Only then should you appeal with the request to law enforcement agencies. Thus, you can count on the idea that your complaint will be settled practically.
Copyright Infringement on Amazon: How to Act if you’ve obtained a Copyright Infringement Notification:
Now that we have figured out what “copyright infringement” is in the case of trading on Amazon and what to do if your copyright is violated, we recommend that you read the further instructions that will help you avoid litigation if you’re blamed in that circumstance.
Ensure the Authority of the Sender in this situation
If the letter you obtained was not sent by the Amazon service department but, rather, by a different seller, this is an important reason to doubt the strength of their actions. No one other than Amazon employees has the freedom to threaten to block your merchant account.
So, what if your offense was observed by a representative of the brand? In this situation, they should contact Amazon’s support associates first (as described above), who, in turn, would make a claim to the supposed doer. All other efforts to charge you with copyright infringement can be supposed as an attempt by competitors or other ill-wishers to disturb your business.
What should you perform if the letter really does come from Amazon? In this situation, you may have bought the goods not from authorized suppliers but from some intermediary, and the applicant would have every right to present you with claims for the withdrawal of their trademark goods from your collection.
Furthermore, if you ignore the claim, you can be accused legally. Large brands generally win in such disputes because they already have a lot of experience in these kinds of litigations. If you are not clear if the supplier has an authorized right to resell, it is better to refuse to trade products from world-famous brands (such as L’Oreal, LVMH, Procter & Gamble, etc.) from the start.
Contact the Copyright Holder Personally
Having obtained a letter about your offense from Amazon, attempt to personally contact the brand whose copyright you’ve violated. Write a letter to his representatives with a confession and clarification that your misconduct was not planned. Notify them that you will correct the circumstances as soon as probable. Watch courtesy and arrange to agree to the terms of the interlocutor, as this will be the key to mutual understanding.
Initiate Conflict Resolution
Before removing the goods from your store, make clear that the copyright was really violated. Discuss with a lawyer or, in some doubtful cases, you may want to hire an attorney. If you are clear that you are in the correct, try to solve the conflict by writing back to Amazon and stating the violation of your trading rights on the platform. Do not be offensive or negative about the situation.
Try to be as objective as probable, stating the moments where the declarer is mistaken about the Amazon copyright infringement policy violation. Also, be clear to state that you have done all possible to resolve the conflict without the participation of the judiciaries (minimum three emails have been sent, minimum three calls have been made, the disputed goods have been detached from the sale, etc.).
If the Amazon report copyright infringement was not correct and you can confirm it, the actions will stop and your account will be restored after a few weeks. All the details about the investigation would stay secret, and you can instantly renew your trading activities.
Copyright Infringement on Amazon: Summary
In this article, we tried to broadly cover the topic of how to claim copyright infringement on Amazon. Following the above suggestions, you can easily resolve controversial situations related to Amazon copyright infringement.
Moreover, if your account is still blocked or, if you, as an injured party, cannot compel the seller who violated your copyright to remove the disputed goods from their store, Contact us today! We will assist you to get the best and most positive results in your dispute, and we’ll do everything to avoid unsuccessful litigation.