The fall of Cafepress?

For those of you unfamiliar with it, Cafepress is an online store that sells, well…stuff. T-Shirts, Mugs, Clocks, you name it. That is, you logo it. They put the logo on the stuff and ship it to whoever ordered it. Kinda spifft deal. It seems everyone used it a while back, just about everyone used it. Every webcomic, everyone who wanted da money. A while ago, 8-Bit stopped using it, under what pretenses I am unsure. Perhaps Cafepress didn’t like the smell of possibly copyright infringement and didn’t want to take any chances. Perhaps Brian caught wind of whatever everyone else has. But now it seems a lot of other people are doing the same. VGCats is making a BIG deal about their quitting Cafepress and linked to a good list of reasons why here. Avalon stopped using it, I think, and I recall several other places doing the same. Apparently, Cafepress is not only no longer small-site friendly, now they’re getting too personal with our private information. SSN? Hmm…

Anyway, am I just being paranoid, or is Cafepress digging itself a 100% cotton grave?

i’ve seen a lot of people stop using cafepress lately…

it’s doomed.

It’s doomed to anyone who reads the TOS. I mean, you’re basically signing over your images to them. HOWEVER! I will gladly sell previous copyright information on it. When someone tries to sue me for it, I’ll say “Well Cafepress has it copyright”.

Man. That is bad. Getting too greedy methinks.

This whole thing is really ridiculous. Cafepress was never trying to take over the copyrights on images or anything like that. The agreement just wasn’t worded that clearly, such that whoever wrote this garbage could misinterpret and distort it the way they did to make it look like they were trying to take copyrights or whatever.

One section about Cafepress owning all property rights refers to the cafepress service itself, not the content uploaded to them. They claim that cafepress is the owner of the cafepress service and their copyrights and whatever, their users do not gain any ownership of the service.

Another section gives cafepress the right to make copies of the images given to them without paying royalties so that they can print the shirts and stuff for your shop.

Another section gives cafepress the right to use your images to promote your cafepress shop or the cafepress service without identifying the content as yours. This is hardly stealing your property…it doesn’t seem to give them the right to use your materials to make money (aside from using them for advertising) and it doesn’t give them ownership of the material. This is the most they are taking though since they claim the right to use the materials for advertising as much as they want…actually they only claim the right to use it on their web site and e-mail newsletters.

Finally their is a section saying that images and artwork you create with the service can only be used by you to promote your shop and the service. I believe this is refering to those images that show what an item will look like, for example those images of a shirt or a hat or whatever with your image on it. But it appears you still maintain ownership of the original image itself, just the image of an item with your image on it can only be used to promote your shop and the service.

It doesn’t appear that they were ever trying to take people’s property rights. Just someone’s misinterpretation of their terms of service.