Friday, January 14, 2011

Etsy is a Changing

Here is an update on the earlier 'Insensitive' blog post I wrote. Etsy has responded by changing their TOS. It is still vague and wide open to interpretation. Here are the new TOS:
Every Etsy seller is responsible for following the laws that apply to you, your shop and your items, including any shipping restrictions for your items.
There are some types of items that we don't allow in Etsy's marketplace, even if they are legal and otherwise meet Etsy's selling criteria. Some things just aren't in the spirit of Etsy. The following types of items may not be listed on Etsy:
  • Alcohol
  • Tobacco
  • Drugs, drug-like substances, drug paraphernalia
  • Live animals, illegal animal products
  • Pornography
  • Firearms and/or weapons
  • Recalled items
  • Real estate
  • Motor vehicles (automobiles, motorcycles, boats, etc.)
  • Items or listings that promote, support or glorify hatred toward or otherwise demean people based upon: race, ethnicity, religion, gender, gender identity, disability, or sexual orientation; including items or content that promote organizations with such views
  • Items or listings that promote or support illegal activity or instruct others to engage in illegal activity
  • Items or listings that promote, support or glorify acts of violence or harm towards self or others
Even beyond these standards, Etsy members are responsible for making important moral or ethical decisions regarding what they buy and sell on Etsy.
We reserve the right to remove listings that we determine are not within the spirit of Etsy. Such listings will be removed from the site, and the member's selling privileges may be suspended and/or terminated. If Etsy removes an item listing for violating Etsy policy, the seller is still obligated to pay the listing fee for that item. Suspended or terminated members remain obligated to pay Etsy for all unpaid fees per our Terms of Use.

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I know I said this on the forums, but this is my response:
I am going to be guarded... because to me, the products that have been removed did not glorify, support or promote said things. As for the "otherwise demean people"... I worry about that. Literally EVERYTHING can be seen as demeaning. The world is not cupcakes, roses and unicorn farts. Heck, a lot of humor is demeaning and disparaging by nature... will all joke items now be removed when they offend someone? I have a feeling when anyone rises a big enough stink, that something will just disappear and so will artistic expression. I will stay for now to see how this plays out, but I have one foot out the door.

I think I will start to think about moving my Celebrate Odd Etsy shop to either my blog here or my other website.
I am not off Etsy yet, but this move worries me. What do you think?

More Links:
Forum Announcement
New TOS
Etsy Blog about it and comments


**UPDATE** I guess historically significant WWII items is now deemed inappropriate (according to a comment in the article).

"I did have an item removed that is now in violation of Etsy's new policies—a German WWII Luftschutz helmet. I hope they are going to refund listing fees for items that have been pulled since they were listed when they were not in violation of any policies."

Etsy is starting to slip on the slope pretty darn fast. I wonder how many Mammy dolls and African-American efimera (why the heck cant I remember how to spell that word!?!) will now be removed.