• Tanya Riarey

Art Theft! AliExpress & Alibaba sellers are stealing art from the artists on Etsy

Updated: May 6, 2021

I got a message from another Etsy seller with a link to an Aliexpress listing with my illustrations. It turned out that one Aliexpress seller stole my art! I did more searching and I found out that some of my illustrations were stolen and are being sold on Aliexpress, eBay and some other weird websites.

I’m feeling very unmotivated to draw anything new 😔

I managed to remove them from eBay, thanks to their super helpful support, but not from AliExpress. I submitted a request to Ali with a link to my Etsy shop and got an answer from them that I need to “submit evidence to prove the product infringing IPR”. I’ve tried to submit it again as an IPR owner, and it’s really complicated! Not only do I need to create an account on their platform to do that, but also submit a copy of my ID, lots of unnecessary information, sign their letter, scan it and upload it... I also don’t have any documentation that I own MY OWN illustrations, only screenshots from my Etsy shop. I think I might get all my illustrations copyrighted with gov.uk, but it’ll cost money. As far as I know by law any illustration is automatically protected by copyright when it’s created. AliExpress not only allows their sellers to sell stolen art but also make it almost impossible for the creators to get their work removed from AliExpress. To do that I’ll need to spend money on paper copyrighted documents and then spend hours to submit another request, which probably won't be successful again, as there is zero communication from their support team. I know that there are many more sellers and artists are affected by this website, and they can’t even get their stuff removed from it.

After all of that I contacted the seller directly asking to remove my illustrations, and they did. Of course, their shop keeps selling other stolen artwork, because they know that nothing bad will happen to their shop, since AliExpress simply doesn't care.

So I encourage everyone do not buy any artwork from AliExpress, buy it on Etsy and on other legitimate platforms and resellers! If you don't believe me try to google this "Aliexpress seller stole my art" and you'll see how many artists are affected by this :)

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