Don’t Mess With The IOC

25 Feb

EtsyBitch had a post about the Olympics copyright and that anything with Olympics, or Vancouver 2010, or the rings symbol is a serious violation of their regulations.

but here are a few of the more problematic 2010 Olympics listings:

http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=39173339

http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=40952710

http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=39028650

http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=39594175

http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=41010831

http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=40723149

I don’t think these sellers realize just how serious a violation this is. Back when the Salt Lake games were going on there were quite a few places being busted for selling unlicensed Olympic merchandise. The fine was astronomical. It’s one thing to mess with Sanrio and quite another to mess with the IOC. Just saying.

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49 Responses to “Don’t Mess With The IOC”

  1. Cat Power February 25, 2010 at 10:14 am #

    Just sent a convo to one of the listings to tell them in a nice way that they could get into a heap of trouble for using the logos without a license.

    Maybe they just don’t know, or they may just tell me to mind my own damn business….either way, at least one has been warned and we’ll see if they reply or take it down….I rather doubt that either will happen.

  2. wahwah February 25, 2010 at 10:15 am #

    Copyright means nothing to some sellers. Look at all the twilight crap, etc. Let’s hope some of them get taught a lesson.

  3. Bedazzled VONdom February 25, 2010 at 10:30 am #

    Copyright on Etsy = “I can copy that, right?”

  4. Life During Wartime February 25, 2010 at 10:31 am #

    Etsy should have been more careful when the staff published features on the current Olympics. They should have titled them ‘winter sports’ and included a comment in the text that use of IOC owned images is banned on Etsy — contact support if you have questions before listing. (yeah, I’m dreaming!) The staff that monitors listings content (ha!) should have been vigilant about catching these listings and deleting them. Because if I were one of the sellers in the post — and I was sued — I would try to drag Etsy into it. Dunno if there are grounds, but Etsy’s features implied that making ‘olympics’ items and tagging them that way might be a key to visibility on the site and more sales.

  5. Whisperia February 25, 2010 at 10:46 am #

    The IOC is indeed extremely strict about their copyrights. You can’t even mock up an image of ANY shapes in the colours and configuration of the rings, never mind just circles like in the actual logo.

    Stephen Colbert is referring to his coverage of the games as “Vancouverage of the 2010 Quadrennial Cold Weather Athletic Competition.” Which is all kinds of hilarious. Since he’s not an official broadcaster, he can’t even use the phrases “Olympic coverage,” “Winter Games,” or “Vancouver 2010.” There was a good article about it in yesterday’s Toronto Star. These Etsy sellers are putting themselves at a huge risk.

  6. sputnik February 25, 2010 at 10:58 am #

    Honestly if the IOC went after these sellers AND etsy, it could possibly make a few people more aware of the copyright theft on etsy. The rampant copyright violations on etsy are just ridiculous. If you didn’t make the image or by the rights to it, what makes you think you can use it?
    A few highly publicized lawsuits and fines might to etsy good.

  7. forum rubbernecker February 25, 2010 at 11:05 am #

    What I have never understood, and probably never will, is what is the purpose of a corporate image (something produced by and available from large corporations) on a handmade item? If you want corporate crap, it’s cheaper at Walmart. Isn’t the purpose of handmade that it’s unique? A Disney or Olympic image slapped on a handmade item looks exactly like what it is–crafty I-need-money-theft.

  8. Liz February 25, 2010 at 11:23 am #

    Reporting Brand Infringement:

    http://www.vancouver2010.com/more-2010-information/about-vanoc/the-vancouver-2010-brand/protecting-the-brand/reporting-brand-infringements/

    AND, the email address:
    brandprotection@vancouver2010.com

    Let’s start emailing.

  9. Amused February 25, 2010 at 11:34 am #

    Are people really this stupid? Maybe they just pretend. IOC tried to crush a guy for his logo because it involved a flame (not like theirs) to represent his heating product. They can be bullies even when it doesn’t involve the actual name or rings.

  10. WTFISAPDF February 25, 2010 at 1:20 pm #

    Do we have to report each individual seller or can we just report Etsy?

  11. detroit February 25, 2010 at 1:30 pm #

    “Do we have to report each individual seller or can we just report Etsy?”

    I WISH Etsy would get nailed for this. For some of the sellers – well, you’d have to be living under a rock not to notice how strongly the IOC goes after enforcing their rights to their trademarks and copyrights…

    But, seems a lot of people live under rocks.

    Etsy – HOWEVER – should know better. They themselves go after people for appropriating the ‘Etsy’ trademark!

    Hypocrites!

    SMH….

  12. CMOM February 25, 2010 at 1:35 pm #

    It’s not Etsy’s responsibility to protect or enforce other people’s copyrighted or trademarked items. The copyright and/or trademark owner has to do it. I guess they could report it to the copyright owner but that would take actual work to do the research.

  13. CMOM February 25, 2010 at 1:38 pm #

    The Atlanta games in ’96 – McDonald’s had this pin that had five onion rings on it that were not even interlinked like the Olympic rings and it got shut down. I remember seeing a news story about it then and though, “wow! they kicked Ron’s butt!” LOL!

  14. detroit February 25, 2010 at 2:06 pm #

    If contacted – yes it is Etsy’s responsibility to do all they can to not provide a venue for law breakers to ply their wares. Ebay has long worked with companies to help eliminate trademark / copyright infringement. I’ve worked in the field. And gotten Ebay’s cooperation in removing many items.

    Unfortunately – Etsy seems to ignore most flags.

    Though many companies would certainly say Ebay doesn’t do enough. Part of the reason Ebay is seen as tacky – all the fakes springing up like weeds. The direction Etsy is heading too?

  15. UnaTronic February 25, 2010 at 4:10 pm #

    Oh snap! Just wait til Etsy features a few of these on the FP, LOL!!

  16. notvintage February 25, 2010 at 5:56 pm #

    didn’t they do a finds email? (I wouldn’t have seen it, last thing I want is crappy etsy emails)
    If they feature Olympic shit, they should be culpaple for advertising it. I hope someone who knows would drop a dime, as they used to say when it cost a dime to use a phone booth…..

  17. MadeByM**** February 26, 2010 at 6:39 am #

    Ignorance is bliss……..

  18. CMOM February 26, 2010 at 9:50 am #

    Actually Etsy does assist the copyright holders in removing offending items. I know because I was asked to remove the word “onesie” from a listing which is copyrighted by Gerber. And an Etsy admin did the asking, not the Gerber lawyers (thank God).

  19. notvintage February 26, 2010 at 4:11 pm #

    the Gerber lawyers had to hear about it ^ put the screws to Etsy, before you could be notified. I wonder if anyone has gotten an etsymail concerning the O’cs? Perhaps when the Os are over it will heat up,,,,but Etsy gets its licks until then. No loss for them, but the summer games will be a different issue for sure.
    Hand it to Gerber to have the $$ lawyers! (they need them)

  20. detroit February 26, 2010 at 6:11 pm #

    CMOM – sorry you got nailed by the trademark police. ‘Onsie’??? C’mon. Someone says they ‘own’ that? Pfft!

    But that just goes to show. Etsy doesn’t give a rat’s ass about flaggers from their poor community of customers (trying to do the right thing and maintain the integrity of Etsy) these days. Only when a company with deep pockets and rabid lawyers contact them, do they listen.

    Money talks. Quelle suprise….

  21. Bedazzled VONdom February 27, 2010 at 8:54 am #

    “‘Onsie’??? C’mon. Someone says they ‘own’ that? Pfft!”

    “Onesies” is a registered trademark and the Gerber company has every right to protect the use of their legally acquired property.

    If a whiny, indie “I do have a day job but only because I can steal office supplies and print my zine for free” artist were enforcing such rights you would be applauding their efforts.

    Yes (*shocker*) even evil, traitorous, Capitalist pigs have rights in the USA.

    Imagine dat!

  22. notvintage February 27, 2010 at 11:05 am #

    “Capitalist pigs have rights in the USA. ”
    So says the Supreme Court……..

  23. ArizonaArtTile February 27, 2010 at 7:31 pm #

    As a relative newcomer to this site, I have a question for all of you.
    Have you had any success at all in changing the way Etsy looks at these issues that you have raised and are continuing to raise about the purported violations you are finding? Not a trick question, I’m just curious.

  24. Amused February 28, 2010 at 12:21 am #

    What a surprise, Etsy put it on the frickin’ front page! Way to go.

    http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=41010831&ref=fp_feat_10

  25. sputnik February 28, 2010 at 12:41 am #

    @Amused you beat me to it, came here to say that
    http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=41010831
    is on the front page. Fan-freakin-tastic

  26. Thud February 28, 2010 at 12:57 am #

    HA! Coming to post the same thing!

    Yes, Onesie is owned.
    I sawa shop in the top sellers of children’s items whose shop name is Onesieful or something like that and I wonder if Gerber/ Etsy has said anything to *them*?
    http://www.etsy.com/shop/WeROnesieful

  27. cmom February 28, 2010 at 8:08 am #

    Gerber owns “Onesie”, not onsie, or onez, or onezie so I would think that the word “Onesieful” is okay. I currently use “onezie” instead.

    Funny story – when the Etsy admin asked me to remove the offending word from my listing I asked him or her why it was okay for Etsy to have the pre-loaded tag “onesie” under children? It has since been removed.

  28. Life During Wartime February 28, 2010 at 10:42 am #

    sputnik, Amused and Thud — that item has a double whammy of appropriating owned material, ‘shabby chic’ and the IOC symbol. Holy moly! The shop name itself is ripping off Rachel Ashwell.

  29. Bedazzled VONdom February 28, 2010 at 11:45 am #

    Gerber owns “Onesie”, not onsie, or onez, or onezie so I would think that the word “Onesieful” is okay.

    Unfortunately, the legal world does not actually revolve on “I would think” conjecture.

    You should request a refund of your online law school fees STAT.

    “The Onesies® trademark, or any variation thereof (i.e. Onesie), cannot be used as a generic descriptor and should only be used when referring to the Onesies® brand by Gerber®.”

    http://www.gerberchildrenswear.com/HOME/GerberChildrenswearBrandUsage/tabid/128/Default.aspx

    “I currently use “onezie” instead.”

    Good luck with that!

    P.S. Your photo skills need some work.

  30. Thud February 28, 2010 at 2:27 pm #

    Exactly.
    Your use of ‘onezie’ is derivative of the Gerber owned term/ item, meaning that you bank your sales/ product on their brand power and you are still ripping them off. Nice try, though 🙂

  31. detroit February 28, 2010 at 6:38 pm #

    Yes – I realize “Onesie” is a registered TM. I’m just appalled by the fact that such a common, generic, term can be owned (yes, I’ve worked many years in trademarks).

    In general, ‘descriptive’ trademarks are hard to protect and register. Like, no one should be able to own MILK as a trademark to brand milk. And say they have exclusive rights to the term.

    That’s why I was pee-shawing at the fact that ‘Onesie’ (and variations thereof – yes ‘ONZIE’ is likely a violation – but they’ll never find it) is a word that is OWNED!

    Onesie seems like a pretty descriptive term to describe a garment that is a one-piece for infants.

    Just goes to show what having good lawyers can do for you. (Gerber)

    Incredible!

  32. detroit February 28, 2010 at 6:59 pm #

    Oh yeah – and Bedazzled VONdom – lick my perky clit. Yes – I know companies can enforce their TM rights. So what?

    Sometimes they are afforded rights unfairly. ‘Onesie’ seems rather descriptive to me. And, if you know about TM law, you know descriptive terms are – or should be) difficult to register (ie monopolize).

    And what was the ‘office supply stealing’ crack? On another blog I commented that stealing office supplies and time is THEFT.

    SUCK MY CUNT. Fool.

  33. UnaBee March 1, 2010 at 2:44 am #

    Got to love the “The official sanctioned law protects them, therefore it is Correct” argument.

  34. Bedazzled VONdom March 1, 2010 at 9:51 am #

    “Sometimes they are afforded rights unfairly. ‘Onesie’ seems rather descriptive to me. And, if you know about TM law, you know descriptive terms are – or should be) difficult to register (ie monopolize).”

    This is your brain on drugs, kids.

    Detroit, it’s time to put down the bong.

    “yes ‘ONZIE’ is likely a violation – but they’ll never find it”

    I found your listings in two minutes. It would take me three minutes to send Gerber an email.

    MY perky clit says “go for it.”

    ;-}

  35. Bedazzled VONdom March 1, 2010 at 9:52 am #

    “Got to love the “The official sanctioned law protects them, therefore it is Correct” argument.”

    LMAO!

    Nutbag Nutmeg, is dat chooooooooo?

  36. detroit March 1, 2010 at 11:35 am #

    Um – BV – it’s not my listing. Also, I’m a trademark analyst of 10 years. That’s why the topic interested me. And that’s why I’m quite sure I know what I’m talking about.

    I’m also very familiar with the fact that the US Patent and Trademark office frequently grants exclusive rights to the use of words (trademarks) to big companies because they have expensive lawyers and are persistent and litigious. Not because they have a very good case to back up their claim for exclusivity.

    These things aren’t black and white. And having lots of dollars can sway the trademark examiner to grant an iffy Trademark.

    I’ve sent out a zillion ridiculous cease and desist letters on behalf of big, multinational clients. And most small people – like the Etsy user of ‘onesie’ don’t have the knowledge and resources to fight back. So they just give up.

    You’ve been pwned – foolio.

  37. detroit March 1, 2010 at 11:38 am #

    Furthermore, I see on the USPTO site that ONESIE was registered way back in 1983 – when the bar to registration was a lot lower. Hard to say, but they might have a lot harder time getting that TM registered in this day.

  38. Bedazzled VONdom March 1, 2010 at 11:53 am #

    Yes, we were all fooled by your recent name change.

    ::rolling eyes:::

    “Furthermore, I see on the USPTO site that ONESIE was registered way back in 1983 – when the bar to registration was a lot lower. Hard to say, but they might have a lot harder time getting that TM registered in this day.”

    Ten bucks says you’re a mouth breather.

  39. notvintage March 1, 2010 at 1:55 pm #

    :ArizonaArtTile Says:
    February 27, 2010 at 7:31 pm

    As a relative newcomer to this site, I have a question for all of you.
    Have you had any success at all in changing the way Etsy looks at these issues that you have raised and are continuing to raise about the purported violations you are finding? Not a trick question, I’m just curious.:

    OVER AND OVER AND OVER FOR AT LEAST THREE YEARS. Answers:
    “It’s in the pipeline”
    “It’s in our radar”
    “Good idea, will send along to techies”
    “I feel your pain”
    BLAHBLAHBLAH

    they will muted, but they do nothing and never will. Stick around.

  40. detroit March 1, 2010 at 2:07 pm #

    Uh, BV – I have no fucking clue what you’re talking about re ‘name change’. I don’t even have a store on Etsy. Just have bought a few items. Not exactly sure who you think I am, but I’ve only ever posted here under the name ‘detroit.’ Which – since I’m sure I need to put two and two together for you – is the name of the city I live in.

    But, way to change the topic when you know you’ve been shown to be wrong about the trademark issue.

    I know a lot of stuff about other things too. So, go ahead and yap mindlessly about something else now. I’ll be sure to correct you.

    And yes – I do occasionally breathe through my mouth though. Primarily when I’m jogging. And when I have a head cold.

    But, not sure what that has to do with me looking up the TM registration. As I explained previously – I’m employed in the field, and probably visit that site about 30 times in the course of a work day. It took me all of 20 seconds.

    Step back fool.

  41. cmom March 1, 2010 at 5:06 pm #

    I will certainly get busy working on my photo skills. Thanks for the constructive criticism. Guess I need to also remove the before mentioned offending word as well.

    Geez… tough room.

  42. Mnj March 1, 2010 at 11:22 pm #

    I love how professional the word fool sounds.

  43. Kirsi March 2, 2010 at 12:55 am #

    Mnj Says:
    March 1, 2010 at 11:22 pm

    “I love how professional the word fool sounds.”

    Even more so, when combined with ‘lick my perky clit’ & ‘SUCK MY CUNT’. There’s no beating argumentation with facts…

  44. Bedazzled VONdom March 2, 2010 at 12:15 pm #

    “But, way to change the topic when you know you’ve been shown to be wrong about the trademark issue.”

    I was not wrong about the trademark “issue” in any way, shape or form.

    “Furthermore, I see on the USPTO site that ONESIE was registered way back in 1983 – when the bar to registration was a lot lower. Hard to say, but they might have a lot harder time getting that TM registered in this day.”

    Sigh, I see I need to really spell it out for the slow learners.

    The ONLY REASON you consider the term “Onesie” and/or “Onesies” to be generic in nature is because it has become generic over time SOLELY due to being invented, (the word, not the garment), promoted and advertised by Gerber.

    Without their use of the term, you wouldn’t even know the word today so no, it would not be harder for Gerber to trademark the word today because it wouldn’t even be generic or known without their efforts.

    The garment in question would still be commonly known as a “bodysuit” NOT a Onesie.

    I hope this helps. If you need assistance in sounding out the big words like “manufactured” and “slow” just let me know.

    “As I explained previously – I’m employed in the field”

    Of course you are. Wink, wink. Too funny!

    P.S. Best run on soft surfaces from now on. The impact of running on concrete appears to be jarring your brain cells into mush.

  45. detroit March 2, 2010 at 5:55 pm #

    Sigh…do I have to spell it our for YOU??? Gerber, or whomever originally registered the mark did NOT invent the term.

    People seem to think that ownership of a registration implies invention. Often terms in common use are trademarked – especially in the past.

    Now quick, run. Go get a registration for ‘hoodie’. I just invented it!

  46. detroit March 2, 2010 at 6:05 pm #

    I was gonna add that you should hightail it to the trademark office and get a lock on WIFE BEATER while yr at it with HOODIE. But it looks like someone might have beaten you to it – lol.

    Well, whoever the applicant is – thanks to THEM for inventing and popularizing such a fun and colorful term!!

  47. Shower Radio November 17, 2010 at 2:29 pm #

    some office supplies are low quality that is why you should always check your store if they offer high quality products `’*

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