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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    7

    Default Same Design, Multiple Uploaders - How Many Infringments

    I'm trying to work out how the internet business model might differ from the more brick and mortar model in a couple of aspects.

    My ultimate question is probably too convoluted for a first post so let me start with

    Definition: A POD means print on demand company - typically where there are various account holders. The account holders upload images. The images are then displayed on products and offered for sale. The customer pays the POD, not the account holder. The POD takes the orders, applies the image to the product and ships it out. The account holder gets a cut of the sale.

    Let's set aside, for this purpose, copyright registration in the USA.

    ____

    Part A - the initial reaction I got when I described this scenario was one infringement. But that doesn't sound right. That reaction was based on the idea that if a factory takes an image and prints 10,000 posters, that is just one infringement. In this scenario it is the one "factory" printing the same artwork, but different sources.

    Let me reset this scene:
    Larry, Curly and Mo do not know one another. They are not working together. All three have accounts to upload images to sell products on the POD Teexxxx.com.

    They each scour the internet on Feb 25 2018, looking specifically for designs to steal.
    They don't actually know what designs they are stealing. They use a search script directed at other POD sites to find images. They don't look at them, just upload the image files together with the stolen title and description.

    In this scenario the searches by Larry, Curly and Mo happen to include the same design. Larry and Mo found the image on Redxxxxxx. Mo found the image on Spreadxxxxx.

    They upload the images to the site and the site creates mockups to offer the design for sale on products.

    The page attributable to Larry sold 50 product, Curly sold nothing, Mo sold 5.
    Who is liable for infringement, and how many infringements are there?

    ___
    I hope I did a credible job with the above.
    Thanks for your time and thoughts.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: Same Design, Multiple Uploaders - How Many Infringments

    Definition: A POD means print on demand company - typically where there are various account holders. The account holders upload images. The images are then displayed on products and offered for sale. The customer pays the POD, not the account holder. The POD takes the orders, applies the image to the product and ships it out. The account holder gets a cut of the sale.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    19,279

    Default Re: Same Design, Multiple Uploaders - How Many Infringments

    The person who contracted with the POD to sell the items there is liable for the infringement. The POD company itself isn't much different from any other web site. Larry is responsible for 50 infringements for the sales he made, Moe for 5. All three are also liable for the illicit images displayed on the site. The site itself escapes liability for the images displayed on the site if they promptly remove them.

    It's like you running down to the local copy shop with a copyrighted material and asking them to run copies. You're the primary infringer.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: Same Design, Multiple Uploaders - How Many Infringments

    Quote Quoting blandiya
    View Post
    Definition: A POD means print on demand company - typically where there are various account holders. The account holders upload images. The images are then displayed on products and offered for sale. The customer pays the POD, not the account holder. The POD takes the orders, applies the image to the product and ships it out. The account holder gets a cut of the sale.
    Definition: A POD means print on demand company - typically where there are various account holders xender discord omegle. The account holders upload images. The images are then displayed on products and offered for sale. The customer pays the POD, not the account holder. The POD takes the orders, applies the image to the product and ships it out. The account holder gets a cut of the sale.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    19,279

    Default Re: Same Design, Multiple Uploaders - How Many Infringments

    Damn spambots are spamming there own posts.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    7

    Default Re: Same Design, Multiple Uploaders - How Many Infringments

    "It's like you running down to the local copy shop with a copyrighted material and asking them to run copies"
    I always was told that innocence does not eliminate liability. Has this changed? Is the copy shop off the hook under today's law?

    In the case of the POD - it was their site. The POD site is not created for the purpose of displaying account holder supplied content. Their site is created and designed to facilitate the sale of account holder content. The image is not displayed exactly as uploaded. It is the POD that displayed the image on a product mockup for sale, the POD accepted the order, the POD accepted and processed the payment, the POD placed the image on a product, the POD made a profit from printing the image on a product, the POD delivered the product to the customer. The POD pays for advertising to display the products with the infringing images for the purposes of generating orders that it then turns into physical products. The POD, not Larry Curl or Mo, handles customer complaints and decides whether to offer refunds or reprints.

    Seems like a copy shop to me. Don't the copy shop rules apply? If not, why not?

    Quote Quoting flyingron
    View Post
    The person who contracted with the POD to sell the items there is liable for the infringement. The POD company itself isn't much different from any other web site. Larry is responsible for 50 infringements for the sales he made, Moe for 5.
    Hmmm - didn't realize I was so out of date on the law. I thought that under USA law that the number of infringements is not based on how many copies are made. I thought it was based on the work taken. I thought the number of copies made goes toward damages for the infringement.

    The "based on the work taken" part would explain why " the initial reaction I got when I described this scenario was one infringement" - it was all the same image.

    But there are multiple actors finding and uploading the image. My impulse is that one infringement "should" not be correct, but I don't know whether current USA law supports that impulse.

    I was not expecting each copy=one infringement response.

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