Alibaba Sellers Steal Photo!

perfectfan

Member
As a Chinese seller myself, I feel a bit of ashamed to say this, but have to let everyone know the truth.
Stealing photos is very common in China. Copyright means nothing to most sellers on Alibaba. My photos are being used everywhere on Alibaba by many sellers, who I believe, not only don't have the items in stock, maybe even don't have a digital camera! Here are a few examples. Some photos they copied we think are not good enough so don't use them any more. They stole our outdated version.
1-2013 Cheap Belly Dance Fan Veils,Silk Fan Veil,Belly Dance 100% Silk Veil Fans,Silk Fan Veils,Fan Veils,Dance Props - Buy Real Silk Fan Veils,Belly Dance Costume Silk Veil,Chinese Silk Fan Dance Product on Alibaba.com steals from
2pcs 1 8M Belly Dance Thicker Silk Fan Veil Free Shipping Vertical Stripes | eBay
and
1L 1R 2pcs Thicker PAJ Silk Belly Dance Silk Fan Veil Free Bag Free Shipping | eBay

2- Newest Belly Dance Silk Fan Veils,100% Fanveils,Dance Props - Buy Fan Veil Belly Dance Costume,Belly Dance 100% Silk Veil Fans,Silk And Lace Veils Product on Alibaba.com steals from
2pcs 1 8M Belly Dance Thicker Silk Fan Veil Free Shipping Vertical Stripes | eBay
big size 3G fan veil white-turquoise-blue
2pcs Belly Dance Silk Fan Veil Thicker Silk Free Shipping 1 8M 0 9M | eBay
new belly dance silk fan veil, purple gradient to pink
new belly dance silk fan veil, pink gradient to purple
And so on and so on. This guy really spent a lot of time on my website.

3- Nice Silk Veils,Colorful Belly Dance 100% Silk Veils,Different Sizes,Belly Dance Fan Veils - Buy Belly Dance Costume Silk Veil,Belly Dance Fan Veils,Belly Dance Silk Fan Veil Product on Alibaba.com steals from
belly dance silk veil, 2.7m*114cm, red/orange/yellow

Just to name a few.

Fans and veils may look the same, but the materials, dye and the hand work can make them feel completely different in hand. When a buyer place an order, the thieves just send whatever they have or find the cheapest resource to make it. They are not only hurting customers, but also insulting my work!
Alibaba is a place where the price and quality gets lower and lower and watermarks grows bigger and bigger. Because Alibaba does not do anything to punish the thieves, anybody can step in to sell something, as long as he thinks it sells good. To begin with, he does not have to have the item, or a supplier. He only needs to find photos on Google. And he is very likely to price lower than other sellers. So he will sell cheaper, inferior items that ruins the reputation of " made in China". That is why I will never sell on Alibaba!
 

Mosaic

Super Moderator
You should write to them & tell them to remove them, you demanding the removal of your photos, may be a small drop in a vast ocean, but someone has to start somewhere. It is the sellers on Alibaba that are using the photos, so contacting the admin of Alibaba direct is probably your best option. Good luck.

By the way I'll move this thread to Other Dance Stuff:D
~Mosaic
 

perfectfan

Member
You should write to them & tell them to remove them, you demanding the removal of your photos, may be a small drop in a vast ocean, but someone has to start somewhere. It is the sellers on Alibaba that are using the photos, so contacting the admin of Alibaba direct is probably your best option. Good luck.

By the way I'll move this thread to Other Dance Stuff:D
~Mosaic
Dear Mosaic. You don't seem to know things about China. Here everybody is too busy making their own money. They don't care about copyright, including the administrators of Alibaba. To complain the sellers on Alibaba, you must first become a seller on Alibaba to be eligible. You need pay the fees. As i said i would never sell on Alibaba. So i cannot complain.
Not even Alibaba, i just found another eBay seller also steals my photos!
maocn99 | eBay
I have complained to eBay. Let's wait and see. Hope someone will do something.
 

Mosaic

Super Moderator
I believe ebay are pretty good at stopping others photos from being used. Shame about alibaba.

As for China, yes they have a long way to go when it comes to copyright, but everytime one person doing business in China complains about infringements it brings you closer to having the government begin to take the issue seriously. It may take some years, unfortunately, but you & your friends who have had problems with stolen photos etc, can be the small beginnings of a catalyst for change.
~Mosaic
 

Sirène

New member
I wish you luck with eBay. If you can prove that your photos have been stolen they will remove the other listings, but it can be a long and slow process.

I don't know much about the postal system in China, but I believe registered mail is offered. You may want to consider sending a registered letter to the Alibaba corporate office about the theft of your photos, and send a copy of the letter to local police. China has a reputation for rampant copyright infringement, but the Chinese government started cracking down in 2011 because complaints from foreign nations were starting to hurt its standing abroad.

One letter from one seller may be disregarded initially, but if you know of others who are experiencing similar theft and encourage them to write to Alibaba, it will likely catch the company's attention. Alibaba makes a lot of money, they do not want negative attention from the Chinese government swinging their way.
 

perfectfan

Member
Thanks guys for the bold revolutionary suggestions! I hate to be a Negative Nancy but as i have lived in China all my life, i don't think the police and officials would like to hear about my problem. Anyway, I feel better now. Let' s see if eBay is still eBay when it comes to China.
 

perfectfan

Member
No definitely not. Once i ordered something from another supplier, who didn't send me the goods. So I called police. They told me it is not their jurisdiction. If you actually call the police for this problem everybody in China would think you are kidding!
 

Shanazel

Super Moderator
In the US not receiving merchandise would probably fall under the Postal Service jurisdiction as a form of mail fraud. I think. :think:

Still think your best option is filing a formal complaint with the carrier.
 
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Sirène

New member
No definitely not. Once i ordered something from another supplier, who didn't send me the goods. So I called police. They told me it is not their jurisdiction. If you actually call the police for this problem everybody in China would think you are kidding!
Just to clarify, I don't think police anywhere would get involved over a case of intellectual theft (i.e. computer KBs and not physical goods). I used "police" since I don't know what administrative body in China is responsible for enforcing intellectual property, but I'm reasonably sure there is one based on articles like this one from China Daily:

http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2013-01/20/content_16145813.htm

In the USA, a copyright(s) holder has to file a notice of infringement with a federal court, and then a civil case (suit? trial?) ensues unless the parties settle, or the infringement claim is dismissed by a judge. In very rare instances the Department of Justice will go after a violator, but that's only in the case of something extremely large and widespread (for example, Megaupload). It's a legal obstacle course, and costs dearly in time, and money if lawyers become involved. :(
 

Amulya

Moderator
I think you already have your logo on your photos, do they take them off? Maybe change your photos around with the logo in such a way they can't be taken off, or that it becomes very hard to Photoshop them out. I have a friend with the same issue, her photos get stolen all the time :(
 

perfectfan

Member
At the very beginning we didn't put on watermark. Later we put on only slightly visible watermarks because we don't want the watermark to block the beauty of our products.
There are many people in China who can erase the watermark with some kind of techniques.
 

perfectfan

Member
Just to clarify, I don't think police anywhere would get involved over a case of intellectual theft (i.e. computer KBs and not physical goods). I used "police" since I don't know what administrative body in China is responsible for enforcing intellectual property, but I'm reasonably sure there is one based on articles like this one from China Daily:

http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2013-01/20/content_16145813.htm

In the USA, a copyright(s) holder has to file a notice of infringement with a federal court, and then a civil case (suit? trial?) ensues unless the parties settle, or the infringement claim is dismissed by a judge. In very rare instances the Department of Justice will go after a violator, but that's only in the case of something extremely large and widespread (for example, Megaupload). It's a legal obstacle course, and costs dearly in time, and money if lawyers become involved. :(
Cannot afford that time and money to file a lawsuit...
 

Amulya

Moderator
Oh that's a shame, can you take new pictures so people will know that they are yours? Maybe a trick to make the watermark impossible to remove (not sure if this will work, but you could try) is to put one on in Photoshop by using text (instead of the watermark function), take a screen shot and use the screen shot version of the picture on your web site. That might make it much harder to get them off.
 

perfectfan

Member
I wish you luck with eBay. If you can prove that your photos have been stolen they will remove the other listings, but it can be a long and slow process.
It has been over 1 months since i first reported this eBay seller maocn99 and at least 6 times i have reported. Still this guy is blatantly using my photos. eBay does not care!
 

gisela

Super Moderator
I'm so sorry, this must be incredibly frustrating for you and others in the same situation, and also for the customers who orders from scammers in good faith and recieves a bad product or even nothing at all.
 
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