Laura (tavella) wrote,

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 will solely and exclusively own all intellectual property and other rights, title and interest in and to the Service, and 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 protecting the 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 Service', not rights to artwork that passes through it.


6.2 You hereby grant to 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 Service ("Party Marks"). If you or terminate your account, 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.


6.3 If you submit content to (on a message board, in connection with your participation in a contest or otherwise) you hereby grant a perpetual, royalty-free, worldwide, nonexclusive right and license to use such content (or any portion thereof) on the Web Site and in email "newsletters" to promote or advertise any of your Shops or the 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 Service in your Shop or to promote your Shop or the Service. Any other use of such images and artwork is strictly prohibited unless prior written permission is obtained from

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 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.
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