Amazon sux, and, as you will read, Amazon must have agreed with that sentiment.
The war with Amazon continues. A few months ago the company promised that it was going to do something about the proliferating millions of stolen images offered for sale on its web sites. Of course, we have heard nothing further from them about stopping the sale of stolen intellectual property in the Amazon Marketplace. The situation grows worse by the day.
Some time ago, in order to share my feelings about Amazon with the wider world, I posted a few products on Zazzle which expressed my disgust. Gosh darn it, I should have realized, who woulda’ thunk it, that the same Internet thieves who steal my art and sell it on Amazon would also steal and sell images criticizing Amazon on Amazon. No criminal could be that stupid, could they? No criminal would be so stupid as to endanger the legally-sanctioned, international fencing operation where he sells ill-gotten goods. Oh well, them things just happen.
As it happens, Internet thieves are now offering a number of these images for sale. They appear on multiple Amazon web sites. I have chosen one to tell you about; one of the English-language ones.
Here is a screen shot of the stolen image on Amazon’s UK site. I have added a sightly enlarged image of the pillow so you can more easily read the relevant text.
Let me make a short aside here to illustrate something else those contemplating purchasing stolen goods from Amazon’s hordes of Internet thieves should be aware of.
Here is a my original image. A fairly good simulation of a pilot’s leather jacket patch:
And you can view the actual product here. And, if you like the image, without the Amazon comment, a full-size version of it, along with some related imagery, is posted elsewhere on this blog. Look for “Flying Moose Aviation Patch.”
Now compare my original with the crappy image from the Amazon product page:
Products sold by Zazzle all have nice, sharp images. That’s because the company ensures only high-quality printers are used and the artists and designers who work with the company submit high-resolution (lots of dots per inch) images.
The images displayed on product pages are not high resolution. This true for Zazzle, Amazon, and most any other seller. Typically, they have less than one third as many dots as do the originals. So when criminals steal an image they have to enlarge it to be big enough to print on a product. That necessarily distorts the image. So, if you purchase something from an Internet thief, and they actually send you something, in all likelihood it will be a crappy image on a crappy product. Not only do these thieves steal my art, but the crappy images damage my reputation as an artist.
The thieves do not care about quality. They only want to make a fast buck, or renminbi – they are criminals.
Okay, enough of that; back to our main story.
Gee, willikers; what to do about the Amazon sux pillow? I am just a member of the lumpen nobody-ariat who can be safely ignored by the uber-rich. You know, those with enough money to buy politicians, ensure that laws are so written as to let them get away with just about anything, and conquer the stars.
However, I actually mean Amazon no harm, certainly not the employees. So, nice guy that I am, I submitted a copyright infringement report. I am really good at this as I have to do it over and over and over and over and over and over and over again, ad nauseum. The same stolen images re-appear over and over and over and over and over and over and over again; often offered by the same thieves on Amazon, often with the same ASIN (Amazon’s product identification number). And very often we go through the same long, drawn-out process: Amazon replies claiming they can’t understand how my copyright is being infringed just because some thief, usually operating from China, has stolen the image and is selling it without my permission. Well, you can see how I, and many thousands of other artists, might not feel all nice and fuzzy about Amazon.
Anyway, in spite of my antipathy towards Lord Bezos and company, I submitted the copyright infringement report. Amazon replied and flat out refused to remove the product. That led me to believe that Amazon agreed that Amazon sux.
I then submitted a customer review drawing attention to that fact that the product bore text stating, “Amazon sux.” Amazon approved and posted my comment. That only strengthened my belief that Amazon sux and Amazon agreed.
Again, as a member of the lumpen nobody-ariat, I do not have the money to sue Amazon and force it to tend to its reputation. And, anyway, Amazon defeats just about every lawsuit brought against it. The courts have ruled that Amazon bears no responsibility for the stolen goods sold on its web sites. In effect Amazon is a legally-sanctioned, international fencing operation.
Now whenever I come across one of my land mines while searching through the millions of bootleg products for my stolen images I just chuckle, or even chortle, and move on. I will not be reporting them, or similar images made by others. And, once again, given the ever-proliferating millions of bootleg products on Amazon, it is highly unlikely that I have found them all.
Just as I have to spend many hours a day searching through millions of images, so must Amazon – if it cares about its public image.
Just as Amazon operates in multiple countries and multiple languages, so do I.
Just as Amazon bears no responsibility for the stolen images which appear on its web sites, neither do I.
There are certain other characteristics which will make them more of a challenge to find.
It would be a mistake to assume I am the only artist who is torked off at Amazon.
Even though Zazzle artists and designers have to search through the millions of images we do not have to scrutinize them closely as our own art jumps out at us. Amazon, on the other hand, has no idea what to look for and I ain’t tellin’.
Live by the Internet thief, die by the Internet thief.
I was going to inform Bezos about this, “Seattle control to Lord Bezos. We have a problem,” but decided not to interrupt his conquest of the Universe. In any event Amazon seems to have reconsidered and removed the pillow.
For another interesting tale from the Great Amazon War click here.