Independent artists struggle to protect copyrights

Glenn W. Peterson

Intellectual property is not something that is important only to large corporations. There are many small businesses and even individuals in California and elsewhere who hold copyrights or other forms of intellectual property for their creations and work. These people and entities may sometimes feel they have a limited ability to actually benefit from these protections, however.

An example of this can be seen on the major online retail site, Amazon. This marketplace allows consumers to buy almost anything at any time. While most consumers today see and enjoy the benefits of using Amazon, many artists find the giant a major thorn in their sides.

BuzzFeed reports that the proliferation of products featuring forged or stolen artwork that is copyrighted by others on Amazon is a growing problem. Apparently, there is a brand registration process on Amazon but it is only viable for other large entities such as Apple. For small businesses and individual people, the only recourse available to them at the present time is to petition Amazon to remove the violating items.

Unfortunately, Amazon does not seem to reply quickly to such requests, forcing multiple requests to be made or leaving people to give up altogether. There is also no mechanism whereby Amazon prevents future postings by entities previously found to violate copyrights of others. The poor response by Amazon to the needs of artists to protect their work is a problem that appears to have no good solution at this time. Other online portals featuring original artistic works offer protections to the artists.