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VIC Using Etsy Images on My Website - Copyright Issue?

Discussion in 'Intellectual Property Law Forum' started by Jade, 9 January 2015.

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  1. Jade

    Jade Member

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    Hi, I purchased two items from the same seller on Etsy while purchasing I requested to use images. She took payment and sent items and in the mean time her return email to me stated "would you mind letting me know what you are using the images for, if I may ask?" I took this for a yes and placed the two items with image on my online site. (and forgot to answer as I was busy setting it up - she never questioned again and also offers wholesale on her site) I received a call yesterday quite abusive asking to take off.

    I did so immediately but have I done anything wrong here? Look forward to a fast response as it is really worrying me. I am a new business and I would be finished. (the items were only $39 times two and did not sell and were not viewed by many as it is a new site)
     
  2. John R

    John R Well-Known Member

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    Hi @Jade
    My understanding of your question is summarised as follows:
    1. You purchased a product from a seller on Etsy; and
    2. You attempted to resell the product on your own website using the product photography/images taken by the Etsy seller.
    If my understanding is incorrect, please let me know.

    In relation to your position, I assume that the Etsy seller owns the copyright in their product photography/images under the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). On this basis, using their product photography on your website is generally be considered copyright infringement unless you have obtained permission (or in copyright law terminology, a "license") from the Etsy seller to use their product photography on your website.

    The Australian Copyright Council has a Photographers & Copyright Fact Sheet [PDF] that you may find informative.

    Hope this helps. Please keep us updated with your progress.
     
  3. Jade

    Jade Member

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    I did ask permission to use the images, the first owner responded with "can I ask what you are using it for, if I may?" I took this as a yes. (next time I will follow up further)
    and the second purchase it was a wholesale transaction I had explained exactly what I was doing and that I would need the images for my online site, I paid for the transaction waiting for her response and she responded with you can have the images if I purchased 10. I asked how much for the extra 8 to make it 11 in total. In the mean time I got it ready to sell on my new website but when we cancelled the transaction and she refunded I took off my for sale section on my site. But apparently it was still showing in google but not on my items for sale. Have I shown that these have been purchased and I have obtained permission in both cases? Please confirm
     
  4. John R

    John R Well-Known Member

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    Hi @Jade
    Agreements in relation to permission are generally reviewed as meeting one of the following: "Yes", "Yes, once certain conditions are met" or "No". My take (and I'd be interested to read other forum member's thoughts) is that no permission was given in this situation.

    My take is that permission would have been given once you had met the certain conditions (that is, purchasing a quantity of 10 of the product).
    If you purchased the additional 8 products in good faith, then the order was cancelled and you promptly removed the product photos from your own website, then there may be an argument that you were reasonable to assume that you had been given permission from the copyright owner.

    Hope this helps.
     

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