I started my account about 5 years ago. I am a graphic artist and had always wanted to design my own line of clothing. Merch gave me some of that ‘dream come true’ feeling. I was excited to be accepted into the program and my first sale was something I was so proud of. Move forward a couple years and now I am at tier 10k and making a difference financially for my family. I felt pride in myself and the thought of so many people wearing my designs is extremely surreal for me. I worked hard those few years, I don’t have a crew making all those designs, it’s just me. I made it to 10k.
I get a termination email yesterday, without warning or suspension. My whole financial world crumbled. I couldn’t understand why I was terminated because of the vagueness of the email, seemed so dismissive that I am a person that cares about my business relationship with Merch. I’m not just some jackass, trying to score a buck and purposely pleadgerizing. I have learned to use the trademark database. I check everything. I stopped using keywords because of learning that everyday words can be trademarked, that was something I had to learn. This was a learning experience for me. My first time having to research trademarks and trying not to infringe. I legally purchase any art that I incorporate into my designs, or I draw it myself. The lack of transparency on what exactly my violation was makes it difficult to pinpoint that perhaps I was sold an illegal image or a very common word was used that I just didn’t think would be trademarked. It’s not a malicious intent, it’s accidents.
So, I would like your team to consider the magnitude of your terminations and what it might be doing to your content creators. During covid, this had been our homes only means of paying the bills. My husband lost his job. Not your problem, I understand. I put my heart into my Merch shop. It was my baby.
Please consider other means of disciplinary actions, other than termination. Consider warning us, suspending our accounts or perhaps even fine us, but don’t terminate us. Allow us to remedy the situation.
Communicate to us clearly when we have missed something on our side, we aren’t perfect people.
Removal and rejection of the offending publishing alleviates the need to punish us for honest mistakes. I know when I get a rejection, I panic a little. I am never trying to publish something illegal.
Note, we aren’t all trying to squeak illegal content through. These aren’t done on purpose. Perhaps consider putting more software on our dashboard that will assist us further with identifying trademarked content. I use two different trademark data bases to check my work. I have noticed that sometimes I publish a work then some time goes by and the wording ends up trademarked. We can't predict the future.
Many of my rookie mistakes for rejections were on the words like
“hot sauce”. I would have never known that was the case until I asked for specifics from your team after trying to fix the publishing several times and not being able to figure out what the issue was. Transparency would definitely help all of us work together, better.
I was a 10k tier, I know I was making your team some decent money, this wasn’t just a silly game to me. I took it seriously. Better communication would benefit us all and make us a larger team instead of destroying someone’s business. We aren’t your enemy, you give us artists a stage to preform. Please consider a revision to your termination policy, give us better communication so we can remedy and avoid infringements. We really should work better together, instead of shutting each other down.