So I'm lazy.
Yes, it's me, Maple - How could you tell?
Oh, because I said I am lazy - yes, yes, it's me - and yes, I am lazy.
So at the beginning of August the news went around that American Girl® was executing a crackdown on any handmade shops, etc. that were using "American Girl" in their listings.
It was really AG/Mattel forcing Etsy to police item listings and shops so that no one was infringing upon AG's copyright/trademark.
Since I was pretty much clueless about all of this stuff
I waited to see what happened before reporting back to you guys (all five of my readers).
The basic thing is...
You can't blatantly use the word "American Girl" in your Etsy listings, your webstore, etc. in a way that could be construed as you selling an actual American Girl product.
You should say 18" doll.
And don't blatantly use "WellieWishers" or anything close to that.
Go with 14" doll there.
You can say things like:
For 18" play dolls such as American Girl®.
But then you have to say you are not affiliated with American Girl®.
On every listing.
(I'm gonna make stickers of that ^^^ and place them all over my body.)
And everywhere you say American Girl® be sure
to use that registered trademark symbol ---> ®.
You can say things like: For 14" Play dolls such as WellieWishers™.
But then say that you aren't affiliated with WellieWishers™.
Or your listings could be deactivated, your shop deactivated, etc.
Yes, the Mattel and AG copyright/trademark po-po
(police) has come around again.
They are protecting what is rightfully theirs.
Which is their right.
*Insert applause and back-slapping so that
the lawyers feel they have done a good job*
This happens all the time.
It seems like a handful of sellers get targeted, yelled at, "punished," etc.
Their stores are never really "closed" permanently - but it can often be a very successful scare tactic to shutdown someone's listings and make it a giant pain-in-the-a** to reactivate them, get your store back up and running, etc. etc.
They don't make it an easy fix.
And they don't really help you fix it easily and painlessly.
At least, that is what I can see.
What I see is a bunch of handmade sellers panicking and heartbroken.
Something they love has turned around and bit them in the butt.
Dear Mattel and AG and Etsy,
Does this have to be so traumatic on people?
Can't you simply message people to change their listings?
I'm probably missing something here,
but this is why I say they suck in the title of this post.
It comes down to making people feel like they can't sell handmade stuff - or off-brand stuff, etc. - and what's the point of that?
Your brand, American Girl®, can stay healthy and relevant if you allow people to create a whole little ecosystem around it.
And if your brand, American Girl®, didn't sell such fugly doll clothing, people wouldn't be on Etsy looking for less-fugly doll clothing.
^^^ IMHO. ^^^
But in the end, when doing searches for doll clothes - keep 18" doll in mind, fits 18" doll, made for 18" dolls, etc. etc.
And if you have been hit with this copyright stuff, don't be too discouraged.
Keep sewing and crafting and creating.
And keep selling.
Don't let the corporations stop you.
Keep pushing forward.
Make the changes to your listings, and your tags, etc.
But keep selling.
Do whatever you have to do.
In the future I expect AG/Mattel to start cracking down on listings that use AG dolls as models - as they do this with other companies online that have used AG dolls as models.
So keep that in mind.
But until someone tells you to stop using AG dolls as models,
I would keep using them so that people know how your items fit on the AGs.
Sigh. Sigh. Sigh.
Just keep swimming friends.
Just keep swimming.
p.s. This blog is in no way affiliated with American Girl®.
p.p.s Even if they asked me, this blog would
never be affiliated with American Girl® in any way.
If it was, I couldn't sit here and type words like "sux" or "sucks" or "fugly."