I wasn’t going to write about this. I really want to keep this blog a happy and positive place. But I changed my mind today because of a message I received from an eBay seller.
I’m no stranger to eBay. I’ve gotten some hard-to-find bottles there. But while I love eBay for giving me access to polish that I would otherwise have a very hard time searching for, I hate it for one reason:
Check eBay on any given day and I can guarantee that you’ll find sellers using photos stolen from some of your favorite bloggers. And this is just Chanel polish. I haven’t even checked the other listings yet.
eBay seller nycgirl110 stole this photo of Chanel Vertigo from Fruity Lashes. The photo was cropped to hide her watermark.
What’s even more annoying is eBay seller geminigreatstore (another repeat offender) had the gall to add their watermark to my pictures. The shamelessness is disgusting.
If you’ve been following Polish Police for a while now, you know that I do not take being stolen from lightly. Remember the AllGlam.com debacle that ended with that entire site shutting down?
And why should I let it pass when it’s so completely wrong? It’s theft, pure and simple.
Other nail bloggers know this – swatching and blogging is time-consuming. It takes energy to set up your swatching area, take photos, prepare your photos for upload and write about the shades you’ve just swatched. Most of us do this just for the love of it, for our joy of sharing our passion for polish with our readers. And we do this on top of our very demanding day jobs.
Why should these eBay sellers benefit from our hard work? If they’re charging people exorbitant amounts for polish, don’t they owe it to their customers to at least take photos of the bottles they actually have? Seeing geminigreatstore use my photos to sell Sky Line for $43.99 when it’s still readily available for $30 makes me feel dirty, like I’m being used as an accessory to their crime.
This eBay theft has been going on for months and whenever I spot my photos being used in listings (or when somebody sends me a message telling me they saw someone using my pics), I send a short, very direct message to the seller asking them to take it down.
Sometimes the sellers, like geminigreatstore, ignore me completely.
Sometimes, they respond quickly. Like this one did.
And while I hate what the seller said about “getting it from google images” and “it not having a source” (more on that later), at least s/he responded quickly and positively.
Which brings us to the message I received from an eBay seller today, the very same message that convinced me to finally write about this whole eBay mess.
After seeing that eBay seller miss_bootsie had stolen my photos of Chanel Pearl Drop, I sent her this message last night.
Today I received two messages from her.
I find it funny that while she was so offended by my message, she doesn’t seem to think that she has done anything wrong. I find it laughable too that she thought I was being mean. Seriously, if you want people to be nice to you, don’t steal from them.
I wasn’t going to reply to her anymore but then I checked the listing again and saw what she did. Yes, she did take my photos down. And you know what she replaced them with? A photo she stole from Ommorphia Beauty Bar.
And a photo she stole from The Beauty Look Book.
Eugenia and Sabrina – I love those girls, I love their blogs and I will know their nails anywhere.
While I am sorry that the seller is in the hospital for an operation, I still find her messages ridiculous.
1. I have never “uploaded” a photo to Pinterest. My images appear there because of Polish Police readers who pin them to their Pinterest boards. Pinterest is a content sharing website, yes, but that doesn’t mean the photos you see there are up for grabs. Here’s a quote from the Pinterest website:
Pinterest respects the intellectual property rights of others and expects its users to do the same. It is Pinterest’s policy, in appropriate circumstances and at its discretion, to disable and/or terminate the accounts of users who repeatedly infringe or are repeatedly charged with infringing the copyrights or other intellectual property rights of others.
3. And yes, my photos do appear on Google image searches but that doesn’t mean people can just steal them. One quick click will tell you where the image originally came from. Google wasn’t created for lazy eBay sellers to use as a photo source.
It’s common sense – if it isn’t yours, don’t freaking use it.
eBay prohibits the use of images that isn’t rightfully owned by the seller.
According to eBay, sellers “Can’t use someone else’s picture or item description without their permission. If you believe someone else is using your photos or text without your permission, report it to us.”
Here’s how you can report copyright infringement on eBay. If someone has stolen your images, use this form. I know I will.
Last night, before heading to bed, I sent a message to miss_bootsie. I sent two, actually, because I ran out of characters in the first message. Like I said, I considered not replying to her anymore until I realized that while she had taken my photos down, she was now using photos she had stolen from The Beauty Look Book and Ommorphia Beauty Bar.
My messages were direct but polite – at least that’s what I thought.
But apparently, she now thinks I’m harassing her. And I have “upset her.” She has magically made herself the victim in this scenario. Hilarious. And also annoying.
I didn’t just find an eBay photo thief, I also found a drama queen.