Redbubble CEO Martin Hosking: Lawful Evil

Redbubble’s CEO Martin Hosking thinks its ok to profit off artwork plagiarized from independent creators because he’s legally protected by the DMCA.

Other print-on-demand companies use free (and easy to implement) open source software to check if graphics uploaded by users are other people’s work that they are not allowed to print.

Redbubble could do this, but chooses not to, because they make more money by allowing stolen designs on their site.

The publicly traded $288 Million company has ripped us off for thousands of dollars’ worth of sales using art plagiarized from our artists, and shows no signs of slowing down.

We have sent Redbubble 50+ DMCA take-down notices, including 27 for the exact same design, sent numerous emails, and visited their office last month to see if anyone would talk to us about this. They refuse.

Artists using the Redbubble platform: please consider deleting your Redbubble accounts.

Not only do Redbubble’s payout percentages suck, but there is nothing to stop other Redbubble users from ripping you off the way they are ripping us off.

Supporting a company that passively supports art theft in such a flagrant way is terrible.

Boycott Redbubble until they adequately address this problem.

We patiently await a response.

From: Avi Ehrlich
Mon, Jan 9, 2017 at 9:39 PM
To: Martin Hosking

Hi Martin,

My name is Avi and I represent an art crew called Silver Sprocket.

I’ve purchased shirts from Redbubble, and designs by artists I represent are for sale on Redbubble, though without our permission.

I’ve appreciated your team removing the infringing designs when I’ve sent take-down notices about them, but the same exact design has now been removed 43 times, and I hope you can understand how exhausting and upsetting it is to keep seeing other people profiting off our work over and over again on the same website.

Here is the most commonly copied design on your site, which is a registered copyright that we represent for illustrator Amanda Kirk:

I now find out about new infringements through Redbubble advertising these items directly to me on Instagram and Facebook when I am not even on your site. Your marketing department’s algorithms have this figured out.

It was also disheartening last week when Redbubble’s Facebook account was promoting this design, and took it down (from Facebook) after fans complained, but the item stayed up for sale on the (Redbubble) site.

The email I get back after writing to the DMCA address offers to provide me with information about the Redbubble users who are illegally infringing on my work.

I don’t have the resources to chase down a bunch of Redbubble accounts across the globe, but there is a simple solution you could implement on your end to keep this from happening.

Here is one (of many) free open source application you can incorporate into the backend of your website to automatically check new uploades against a database of artwork you are already on notice about not having the rights to produce:

https://github.com/ascribe/image-match

It appears that your current system would allow an artist who presently is successful selling shirts on Redbubble to be ripped off in the exact same way that we are.

Setting up a system to prevent this ongoing theft is essential if you truly care about supporting and empowering independent artists.

I’d honestly like to know your intentions, on behalf of artists everywhere and not just my own roster.

Is your company “Napster for t-shirts” or is this an issue you care about beyond your legal obligations?

We make and sell a lot of shirts, and could use a print-on-demand company for items we don’t keep in stock. Redbubble would be great, being local and good at this, if it weren’t so distasteful due to the constant counterfeits hosted on your site.

Please let me know what you think. I live down the street from your San Francisco office and would be happy to meet up anytime.

Sincerely,
Avi Ehrlich
:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::
avi@silversprocket.net
Silver Sprocket Bicycle Club
1057 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110
http://www.silversprocket.net | Store | Instagram | Tumblr | Twitter | Facebook | Bandcamp

***************************************************************

From: Avi Ehrlich
Mon, Feb 6, 2017 at 6:25 PM
To: Martin Hosking
Hi Martin,

Can we please talk about this?

https://motherboard.vice.com/…/please-stop-ripping-off…

It is frustrating that you’ll speak with this reporter but not the people whose work you keep profiting from.

I was told that someone would be getting back to me when I visited the San Francisco office last month.
I have not heard back from anyone.

The article mistakenly claims I declined to speak to Redbubble lawyers.
I would be happy to speak with any actual human about this, even a lawyer.
I live down the street and can visit the office anytime.

Thank you,
Avi Ehrlich
:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::
avi@silversprocket.net
Silver Sprocket Bicycle Club
1057 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110
http://www.silversprocket.net | Store | Instagram | Tumblr | Twitter | Facebook | Bandcamp

If you like this art and want to support the artist, please check out https://store.silversprocket.net/amanda

& check out our new Redbubble store
http://www.redbubble.com/people/silversprocket

2017-02-21T05:56:32+00:00 Feb 8, 2017|News|