Amazon, Moteefe Responding to Artist Theftbot Issue
As theftbots continue to send graphics created by legitimate artists to online marketplaces without permission or credit, one company is acknowledging the issue and pledging to find a solution.
Over the last week, artists from around the world have been posting "gotcha" graphics stating "this site sells stolen artwork" and getting followers to express interest in "seeing it on a shirt."
Doing so triggers a bot which spiders social media looking for such posts, capturing the graphic and sending it to print-on-demand marketplaces including (but not limited to) Moteefe, Amazon, Teespring and others.
Some have even tried to rope corporate entities such as Disney and Nintendo into the issue, creating similar messages with copyrighted characters like Mickey Mouse, Mario, and Baby Yoda in the hopes those companies use their strong legal arms to help the cause.
D20NN sent requests for reply from the marketplaces mentioned earlier, as well as Printful and Gooten - two 'aggregator' sites which syndicate print-on-demand items to these marketplaces. We asked for clarification as to how these theftbots are successfully posting products to their platforms and what they are doing to curtail those actions.
Amazon has replied to our request asking for screenshots and our previous reports and is examining the issue; we expect to hear from them in the next few days.
Meanwhile, on Friday, Moteefe CEO Mathijs Eefting released this statement to D20NN:
“We have learned that bots are crawling Twitter and monitising other people’s artwork on our platform. This is against our terms of service and we are taking action to identify these violators and close their accounts. We are also working to put additional measures in place to prevent this from happening in the future.
We started Moteefe as a solution to help creative entrepreneurs to build their own business so we will do everything in our power to protect our users. We are advising anyone who encounters these bots to email us at email@example.com so that we can take appropriate action.”
We've sent Eefting's representatives a follow-up asking for details about what additional measures will be involved. We will also be keeping in contact with the companies mentioned for more details about an issue which, beyond breaking intellectual property and copyright laws, is taking money from an untold number of independent artists of every genre.
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