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The Etsy Blog

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Intellectual Property Infringement: Essential Facts

How can you avoid an intellectual property dispute? A member of Etsy’s legal department answers common questions from sellers about IP infringement.

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Intellectual Property: 4 Key Questions Answered

How can the law protect your shop? One of Etsy’s in-house attorneys sheds light on common copyright and trademark questions from sellers.

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

You Be the Judge: The Poppy Print Problem

Vera claims that Kate Spade’s floral print is too close to one of its own iconic designs. How would your gavel fall in this case of fashion law?

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

UK Edition: Big Brand Copycats

If you’re an independent artist in this here digital age, the chances that you will be inspired by another’s work are quite large. Pretty undeniable, in fact. The chances that your work will inspire other artists during the span of your creative career are equally large. I happen to think that there’s a beautiful kind… Continue reading

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Fan Art and Fair Use: One Truth and Five Myths

As we can see from You be the Judge articles, news stories, and even Law and Order, there are at least two sides to every legal dispute. Sometimes a seemingly clear cut case can get turned on its head by a legitimate excuse, which makes the behavior perfectly legal. In the case of an allegation… Continue reading

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Etsy, I See Copyright Infringement

Copyright infringement is a hot topic on Etsy and in the media. As we see in the You be the Judge series, there are always at least two side to any infringement story. Many artists, lawyers and even judges may disagree as to what constitutes copyright infringement and alternatively what should be deemed fair use… Continue reading

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Register a Copyright Online

Did you know the U.S. Copyright Office is accepts electronic filing of copyright registrations? Advantages of the Electronic Copyright Office (eCO) system include: • Lower filing fee of $35 for a basic claim (for online filings only) • Fastest processing time • Online status tracking • Secure payment by credit or debit card, electronic check, or Copyright Office deposit account The… Continue reading

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Legal Mumbo Jumbo: What’s SarahSays Saying?

Sometimes lawyers (like myself) use words and phrases that should be reserved for a legal brief, a law school exam, or Black’s Law Dictionary. But why? Why do lawyers get all wordy with these words?  Maybe because of tradition, or maybe because (apparently) attorneys used to charge by the word, and now many lawyers charge… Continue reading

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Internet Safety: Don’t get Caught in the Web

Etsy would like our community to be safe, both online and offline. When using the Internet we should all take precautions to ensure our safety and privacy. Here are a few safety guidelines to keep in mind when using Etsy and the Internet in general: Personal Information: Take care when posting personal information about yourself or… Continue reading

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How to Research Trademarks

The next time you’re eating a candy bar, a bag of chips, or even breakfast cereal, take a closer look at the packaging.  You may see various symbols following the brand name or the logo.  What do these symbols mean? Some of these symbols may have to do with trademarks.  The symbol TM (for trademark)… Continue reading

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Etsy Trademark Permissions Program

*UPDATE* For more information, please check out Etsy’s Trademark Guidelines.  This article was originally published on January 22, 2007. Since that time, a bunch of awesome Etsians have sent their information to legal@etsy.com. Etsy may approach members who have not contacted us about using trademarks on products. So if you currently use the name “Etsy”… Continue reading

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

Selling Your Edibles on Etsy

The term “handmade” encompasses a wide range of items on Etsy…and some categories of handmade items have specific business and legal concerns. This is important information for those Etsy sellers who make and sell handmade food. In the last fifty years, the once innocent concept of selling brownies or jellies has evolved into a legal… Continue reading

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

Safety First: California’s Lead in Jewelry Law

Safety issues, laws, and consumer protection: these are serious matters, and Etsy, as a venue, advocates that all Etsy sellers go above and beyond to make sure that their items are safe for buyers. We can help here at the Storque by shedding some light on these issues, because awareness will benefit both buyers and… Continue reading

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All about Etsy FAQ Series: Legal Info

In this installment of the All About Etsy FAQ series, SarahSays will explain Etsy’s stance on our involvement in the legal issues of Etsy users, as well as the answers to the most pressing FAQs. Sarah is Etsy’s in house lawyer, as well as a jeweler. She writes a Storque column which addresses legal issues… Continue reading

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

SarahSays: Trademarks

So you’re sitting in a cafe and you’re online with your laptop —you know, the one with the cute little fruit logo. You’re buying handmade items from that web site with the orange and white brick rectangular symbol on every page. You suddenly get a craving for a hamburger from the golden arches and a… Continue reading