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Copyright Issues and URGENT Verified Merchant Account Issue

shopfocaldecor
Just visiting

I have reached out to the VMP team multiple times through Pinterest's 'Contact Us' page, and continue to receive no responses.

  • Pinterest accounts @Nadiashomegadgets, @galioolighting, and @homeartyway have stolen product names and product descriptions directly from our website.
  • All three accounts have Verified Merchant status which means they can run ads on product pins that have our copyrighted work.
  • I have identified more than 30 products on EACH of the three websites that are infringing on our copyrighted work.

Attached here is a PDF example of one such violation wherein the three businesses did not even remove our company name (Focal Decor) from their product descriptions.

Please investigate @Nadiashomegadgets, @galioolighting, and @homeartyway and remove all pins with our copyrighted work. Please consider removing all three of these accounts from Pinterest entirely. We have reported these three websites to Shopify via DMCA takedown notices and will be reporting them to Google as well.

From April 2021 to mid-May 2022, @shopfocaldecor was a Verified Merchant account. Out of the blue, Pinterest stripped the account of Verified Merchant status. The reasoning as stated by Pinterest is, “Merchant does not meet minimum website quality requirements.” I have gone through each item outlined in Pinterest Merchant Guidelines, and have not been able to pinpoint which guideline we are violating.

I suspect Pinterest may have flagged us for plagiarizing product pins, descriptions, and images from other Verified Merchant accounts. However, it is clear that at least three other Pinterest accounts have been stealing content directly from our website given the extensive and flagrant use of our copyrighted material on other Pinterest accounts (ie. @Nadiashomegadgets, @galioolighting, and @homeartyway). As a result, Pinterest stripped our account of Verified Merchant status. If this is the case, please rereview @shopfocaldecor for Verified Merchant status given this information.

@Nadiashomegadgets, @galioolighting, and @homeartyway should all be stripped of Verified Merchant status under Pinterest guideline, “Have unoriginal content, including: Unoriginal content within the “about us” section or product descriptions.” In fact, they should have never received Verified Merchant status in the first place had their websites been reviewed as stringently as ours.

I am stunned that our Verified Merchant status was revoked with no clear reasoning or communication from the Pinterest Verified Merchant team. It is also heartbreaking to see that all of our team’s hard work developing our website has been compromised by multiple other Pinterest accounts that continue to have Verified Merchant status while we do not.

Because Pinterest support has not replied to any of our emails since May 31st, 2022 (more than 3 weeks), it is unclear who we can contact at Pinterest to help resolve these issues. I truly appreciate any help anyone can provide on these matters.

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shopfocaldecor
Just visiting

Shopify has now taken down artyway.com (@homeartyway) in response to our DMCA takedown notices. The @homeartyway Pinterest account still has Verified Merchant status, while our Pinterest account still has not been rereviewed for Verified Merchant status. Shopify has been incredible, replying to all of my inquiries within 24 hours, yet Pinterest has continued to ignore all of my inquiries since May 31st.

Arty Way Pinterest Acct.pngArty Way Website Taken Down.png

 

 

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andrealidesigns
Pinterest Pioneer
Pinterest Pioneer

@PinterestJazmin @PinterestGabby can we escalate this issue with support, please?

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shopfocaldecor
Just visiting

Below you can see our copyrighted product names and product descriptions in Arty Way's product pins. They did not even take the effort to remove our company name from the descriptions:

Stolen Product Descriptions.pngLevi Faucet Stolen Product Description with Focal Decor Included.png

 

This was also the case with many of @Nadiashomegadgets and @galioolighting product pins, many of which Pinterest's legal team have now taken down, which we greatly appreciate.

While these stores profited by stealing our store's content and had Verified Merchant Status, we struggled for over a month repeatedly contacting Pinterest support for any clarification on why our account was stripped of Verified Merchant status. Pinterest's policy to not disclose to merchants why they have lost their Verified Merchant status has created an environment that hurts legitimate businesses and allows bad actors to flourish. 

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PinterestJazmin
Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi @shopfocaldecor, welcome to the PBC! I'm sorry to hear that you are dealing with this copyright issue. I have escalated this to our support team and they are working with your account manager to find a solution. This is an account specific issue so please continue to work with them directly. 

You should receive a reply from them soon. We appreciate your patience and understanding in the meanwhile. Hope this helps! 

@andrealidesigns thanks for flagging!

  Did my response answer your question? Be sure to select "Accept as Solution" to help other community members on the PBC.



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andrealidesigns
Pinterest Pioneer
Pinterest Pioneer

@PinterestJazmin my pleasure! Glad to help! 🤓📌

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shopfocaldecor
Just visiting

@PinterestJazmin @andrealidesigns 

Thank you both so much for your help!

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shopfocaldecor
Just visiting

@PinterestJazmin @PinterestGabby 

While I'm glad to see that Pinterest took appropriate action and removed Verified Merchant status from @galioolighting and @homeartyway, and suspended (or removed) @Nadiashomegadgets account, we're still finding other Verified Merchants with clearly stolen product descriptions. 

LightbyLight Stolen Product description

LightbyLight Stolen Product Description.png

 

Focal Decor Original Product Description:

Focal Decor Product Description.png

We are still waiting to hear back from the Verified Merchant team about the status of our rereview for the program.

I'd also like to note that Pinterest support previously stated in regards to our return policy, "Merchant's returns policy is unclear or unavailable." When I inquired about the issue, I received a reply on May 28th stating, "In order to adhere to our guidelines, your returns policy must mention returns pertaining to home décor products, not perishable items which are not currently being advertised.  At the moment, consistency is a requirement for return policies in our guidelines."

Pinterest support.png

Please note, this section was included for situations where customers request plants to be included with some of our planter light fixtures (ie. Original Planter LampCircular Planter Pendant LampLily - Planter Pendant Lights, etc.). This section was also present on our website for over a year while our account had Verified Merchant Status.

Nevertheless, we changed our Return Policy in accordance with Pinterest support's recommendation. Unfortunately, we have now since tracked down our previous return policy (perishable goods section and all) on ANOTHER Verified Merchant account. Our Return Policy was copied WORD FOR WORD by warmlylights.com:

warmly lights.png

Warmly Lights Active Return Policy:

Warmly Lights Return Policy.png

If it was not already obvious that Warmly Lights stole another store's return policy, it becomes abundantly clear when reviewing their website. Their return policy is the only page that is not littered with typos, misspellings and grammar issues. Here are just two examples on their homepage and About Us page, respectively:

issue 1.png

issues 2.png

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PinterestJazmin
Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi @shopfocaldecor, I'm glad to hear the other accounts have already been removed by our team. I recommend continuing to work with the support team and your account manager to address these new accounts and for any updates on your verified merchant status. I hope this gets resolved quickly, thanks for your patience and understanding. 

  Did my response answer your question? Be sure to select "Accept as Solution" to help other community members on the PBC.



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