This is the most frustrating and disheartening issue that continuously plagues "legit" Merch On Demand account holders. It's never ending due to the Amazon platform aiding those willing to take what they did not create and upload it into their Amazon account for sale.
Within the page source of every Merch listing is a direct link to a hi-resolution version of the product image with the design on it. I'm not sure if this is what bots are scraping off the site to get the design itself or if there is another method being used to acquire the original PNG file with transparent background. All I know is whenever I upload any design to the Amazon platform it is instantly stolen as if Amazon is handing it out to anyone and everyone it can.
There must be some sort of reasonable effort to NOT give away artist's copyright protected work. I understand when a hack occurs and files are stolen. I understand consumers may want to see a detailed product image. But, there has got to be a way to stop handing out our designs to the masses. Watermarks have been mentioned for years, image recognition is an option, image registration with an Amazon hosted database could be a thing, maybe not having a direct link in the page source for hi-res images? Maybe a low res non watermarked thumbnail and when the consumer zooms in its watermarked? Something...
How about accounts caught stealing pixel for pixel more than once get instantly banned? Right now I have reported infringing listings from what I believe is the same seller at least 5 times. Multiple ASINs.
Amazon allowing thieves to remain on the platform along with direct image links and multi-day waiting times to get infringing listings pulled really kills the whole experience. What can we do here?
What about the royalties lost to these illegal sales? Does Amazon keep them or do the thieves keep them? Either way the original artist doesn't get them. What can we do?
There is absolutely no direct line of communication between Merch Sellers and Amazon staff to discuss concerns. Instead I am here in this forum ranting to the cyber universe.
Amazon is one of the most valuable companies ever and there is no way to stop giving our IP away? It starts with the platform. People are always gonna take what is in front of them. Can we stop handing out hi res images of our designs? Billions of dollars and no solution? What can we do?