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04 June 2003 @ 01:50 pm
Before you go on a crusade against CafePress...  
I hate to get in the way of a good crusade, but it seems to me that that page is based on a misreading of the Intellectual Property section of the Cafe Press user agreement.

Before you spread the meme-- I'd suggest rereading the paragraphs in question. I am not a lawyer, but

6.1 CafePress.com will solely and exclusively own all intellectual property and other rights, title and interest in and to the CafePress.com Service, and CafePress.com will have the sole and exclusive right to obtain trademark and copyright registrations, patents and other protection therefor, and you will not acquire any right, title or interest therein, under this Agreement or otherwise.

appears to be cafepress.com protecting the cafepress.com trademark; in other words, just because we put a 'made by cafe press' bug on your item, doesn't mean you have trademark rights to cafe press. It says 'rights, title and interest in and to the CafePress.com Service', not rights to artwork that passes through it.

And

6.2 You hereby grant to CafePress.com a royalty-free, worldwide, nonexclusive, right and license to use the trademarks, trade names, designs, logos and other images that you upload to your image basket in connection with your use of the CafePress.com Service ("Party Marks"). If you or CafePress.com terminate your account, CafePress.com will cease its use of the Party Marks within 90 days of the termination.

appears to say 'we can use the stuff you upload to make your items with'; in other words, you can't later say 'I didn't actually mean to make that item!' and sue them for copyright infringement, and gives them 90 days to finish filling orders.

And

6.3 If you submit content to CafePress.com (on a message board, in connection with your participation in a CafePress.com contest or otherwise) you hereby grant CafePress.com a perpetual, royalty-free, worldwide, nonexclusive right and license to use such content (or any portion thereof) on the CafePress.com Web Site and in email "newsletters" to promote or advertise any of your Shops or the CafePress.com Service, with or without
identifying the content as yours.


says 'we can use your shop as examples in our advertisements.'

The only really questionable clause is:

6.4 You may only use images and artwork you create with the CafePress.com Service in your Shop or to promote your Shop or the CafePress.com Service. Any other use of such images and artwork is strictly prohibited unless prior written permission is obtained from CafePress.com.

What I *suspect* they are trying to say is that 'don't use our image system as a icon/photo hosting service'. They refer specifically to 'images and artwork created with the CafePress.com Service'; people don't create their artwork with that, what they do create are the images/close up images for their shop. In other words, I suspect this change is because some sneaky bastards have been using the system to host images and thrashing their servers.

If it mean that they were claiming all rights to your art, it would make no sense that they would carve out careful specific rights of use in advertising; they'd own it all!

I'm also rather suspicous of a crusade that appears full blown as a website, attacks CafePress based on a misreading of what does not appear to me to be particularly dense legal boilerplate, and then advertises a competing service at the bottom of the page. It may just be me, but I recall that the Proctor and Gamble 'Corporate Satanists!' rumorspreading was eventually tracked down to Amway sellers, who of course competed in the same household products lines as P & G. Just FYI.
 
 
 
the evil hatevilhat on June 4th, 2003 02:33 pm (UTC)
The new commission system has elements of both evil and stupid in it -- the $25 monthly "maintenance fee" for having less than $25 in commission over a 6 month period is just dumb, since smart users will just close the shop and re-open it to avoid the issue.

The intellectual property is actually pretty clearly written, for legalese. The images they're referring to are the ones that CafePress autogenerates; you're not allowed to take those for use in conjunction with something non-CafePress related. In other words, yes, it prevents image hosting, as well as whatever bits of similar abuse users dream up. It does NOT mean that you're giving up your own artwork/designs/etc. to CafePress.
Riverbirchriverbirch on June 4th, 2003 03:17 pm (UTC)
I agree with the above. I'm not a copyright lawyer, but I've had a deep interest in copyright for quite a while now, and this part of the agreement seems pretty reasonable to me.

The aspect that I find disturbing is the new fee structure. Not only are they skimming an additional percent out of one's own set price (why not raise their prices instead?), but the idea that if your sales are slow you caould actually go into debt while they make money seems very wrong to me. I can understand why they are making this change, but it seems pretty exploitative as well.

My $0.02...
Son of the Shining Path, the Clouded Mindtorquemada on June 4th, 2003 03:28 pm (UTC)
I had (until today) a few stores there, with not much traffic and pricing designed so that I wouldn't make a profit -- zero to $1 per item, that's all, since I didn't want to make any money and Cafepress was already getting their cut. And now they want a cut of my meagre percentage, and want to have me pay out of my pocket besides, and their new agreement is loosely worded enough that they could steal fair use of my images without my explicit permission?

No, thanks.
the evil hatevilhat on June 4th, 2003 04:12 pm (UTC)
Actually, it's very clear that they CAN'T steal your work. Read a bit more carefully; the legalese is dense, and the author of the rant appears to have drastically misinterpreted.

More details in my journal.
Amandacissa on June 5th, 2003 08:38 am (UTC)
I totally agree... :(