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You don't need to wait until you file the copyright, you already own the rights which can be proven by the dates on your files. Contact Etsy about the infringement and proceed throwing the book at him or her.
 

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Tom,
I understand your frustration. But you should not make any type of legal communication with Etsy or the other party without the advice of an IP attorney. The first thing you want to understand are your rights to the work. Second, you want to understand what you hope to gain or accomplish through your legal actions. And third, you want to prepare a proper legal strategy on when and how to contact the other party.

I know you are anxious to take action. But it is in your best interest to be patient and get proper legal advice. It is also important to understand that copyright protection can be very loose. You say the other design is slightly modified. There is no specific amount of change that makes an existing design legal to use, but it is possible that the changes are significant enough to be considered a new work. It's really in the eyes of a judge to decide. So again, it's a good idea to get legal advice before continuing.
 

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Can someone explain to me how companies like Teespring (the darling of the online tee biz) can get away with all of the trademarked NFL,NBA,NHL, shirts they are selling. They seem to break every trademark licence out there
Look what they have sold in Seahawk merchandise alone: Teeview | Teespring campaign viewer
Teespring's terms of service hold the users liable for trademark infringement. Whether that holds up is open to debate. I would say that both Teespring and the user are accountable. Realistically, if an IP owner wants to take action, they will send a C&D to Teespring and they will remove the art. It is then up to the user to challenge that, which they rarely do, because they are not licensed and will be forced to spend a ton on legal fees in a losing cause.
 

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I guess Im just surprised that the NFL and similar licensees has not taken notice. If you do a little research you will find the are printing huge numbers of illegal merchandise.
 

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There are several way to skin the IP thievery types on ebay and teespring. Yes, DMCA takedowns sent to Teespring and C&D sent to the offenders is one way. Another is to go after their payment processing. If you file a DMCA takedown / copyright notice with their payment processors it really adds teeth to what you are doing. You can also send a DMCA takedown request to their domain name host. Teespring uses both Paypal and Stripe. Both have very strict policies against IP theft. Teespring wins when you send them a DMCA takedown notice because they keep 100% of the funds from the IP theft. Try and get that back from them. Their entire business model is about rampant IP theft. Their "FIX" is to ban the bad actors and keep 100% of the ill gotten gains. Then the bad actors setup a new account and start up again. It's like wack a mole. BUT...If you target Teesprings revenues via payment processors and domain name hosting after enough strikes they will have REAL issues. Teespring sucks, they have one of the best law firms defending them. It costs >$200K to really prosecute a successful copyright infringement case. They know this. So hit them where it hurts. If they can't process cards or transactions because of IP Theft...They can't stay in business.
 
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