OUR IMAGES, OUR RIGHTS!
www.giveneyestosee.com/say-no-to-cafepress
July - Under HUGE pressure from lost business, they have actually changed their TOS. Read changes here

Read the changed text in green below in comparison to the original proposal. We did it! 
Our effort made them change their terms.

*For those still looking for alternative sites click here

 
JUST SAY NO TO CAFEPRESS!
 

 

Heads Up Users of Cafepress.com's Services!  
They're doing it again. They're re-vamping their TOS and this time, there's several things that are bad and that are going to make me terminate my usage of them. First, while not enough on it's own to make most people stop using their service (though pretty shady) is the fact they will be charging not only the base price per item, but ALSO a 5% fee on each item you sell out of YOUR portion of YOUR commission. These quotes are from the NEW TERMS OF SERVICE, NOT THE OLD ONE WHICH IS MUCH MORE FORGIVING.
".. we will begin charging a 5% transaction fee on all commissions (the difference between your retail price and our base price). For example, for every $1 you mark your price up, there will now be a $.05 transaction fee. For more information on the new base price tiers and product pricing, please visit: http://www.cafepress.com/cp/info/help/new_cpricing.aspx'
This is reported to be changing: Regarding Section 5.2: The 5% transaction fee will only be imposed on markups greater than $15.

Though it does not specifically mention the "markups greater then $15" this is how the new 5.2 reads: 5.2 You can choose to sell Products "for-profit" using the CafePress.com Service by setting the retail price for your Products above the amount of the CafePress.com Base Prices assigned to each Product. You will then earn the difference between the retail price and the Base Price. Base Prices can be reviewed at: http://www.cafepress.com/cp/info/help/pricing.aspx

They are also forcing people to provide tax information such as social security number to automatically deduct taxes from your commissions. Previously, it was your responsibility to report the taxes, but it was only required if you made more then $600 in a year. Anything less then $600 in a year is NOT REQUIRED to be taxed by the Federal Government. Additionally, you're giving them your social security number! That's so not kosher.
"Please log in and we will direct you to a secure area where you can provide us with the appropriate information (tax status, social security number or FEIN). If you do not provide us with your tax information, we will hold your earnings until end of year so we can deduct the required taxes on behalf of the IRS."
They also fail to mention (until you read the new agreement fully), are several ways in which they will NOT give you your earned commissions. If more then 180 days go by in which you do not total up to the minimum $25 for a check, you lose it. (They charge you a $25 "administrative fee"). You will effectively end up owing them money:
"5.5 If CafePress.com owes you accrued compensation that is less than the Payment Threshold for at least 180 days, then CafePress.com may charge your account a $25.00 monthly maintenance fee. CafePress.com will continue to charge this monthly fee as long as the total amount of accrued compensation remains less than the Payment Threshold for at least 180 days."
This now reads: 5.5 CafePress.com owes you accrued compensation that is less than the Payment Threshold for at least 365 days, then CafePress.com may send you payment of such accrued compensation minus a $5 check processing fee. If the amount of accrued compensation is under $5 for at least 365 days, such amount will be used to cover CafePress.com's administrative costs and no payment will be made to you.
If you terminate your usage of their site and you have less then $25 in earned commissions, you lose that as well to cover their "administrative costs".
"5.6 If you or CafePress.com terminate your account, and you have less than $25.00 in accrued but unpaid compensation then outstanding, CafePress.com may charge you a termination fee equal to the amount of such accrued compensation to cover its administrative costs. "
This now reads: 5.6 If you have not provided CafePress.com with current payment information (such as your mailing address) and have accrued compensation for at least 365 days, CafePress.com will deduct a $25 monthly maintenance fee from accrued compensation in your account, regardless of whether your account is active or inactive. 
Now...the really bad part (as if the rest wasn't enough)...they've changed the policies of your copyright and ownership of the items on their site. They now will claim royalty-free rights to publish and display YOUR items with or without identifying the content as yours.
6.1 CafePress.com will solely and exclusively own all intellectual property and other rights, title and interest in and to the CafePress.com Service, and CafePress.com will have the sole and exclusive right to obtain trademark and copyright registrations, patents and other protection therefor, and you will not acquire any right, title or interest therein, under this Agreement or otherwise. 
This now reads: 6.1 CafePress.com Service: CafePress.com will solely and exclusively own all intellectual property and other rights, title and interest in and to the CafePress.com Service, and CafePress.com will have the sole and exclusive right to obtain trademark and copyright registrations, patents and other protection therefor, and you will not acquire any right, title or interest therein, under this Agreement or otherwise.

6.2 You hereby grant to CafePress.com a royalty-free, worldwide, nonexclusive, right and license to use the trademarks, trade names, designs, logos and other images that you upload to your image basket in connection with your use of the CafePress.com Service ("Party Marks"). If you or CafePress.com terminate your account, CafePress.com will cease its use of the Party Marks within 90 days of the termination.
This now reads: 6.2 Rights to Member Content: You will retain all rights to your Member Content. You hereby grant to CafePress.com a royalty-free, worldwide, nonexclusive, right and license to use your Member Content in connection with the advertising, promotion, production and sale of the Products you choose to sell in accordance with this Agreement. You grant CafePress.com permission to reproduce your Member Content in CafePress.com marketing and advertising, provided CafePress.com credits you as actual owner of the Member Content. CafePress.com will not represent that it owns your Member Content. If you or CafePress.com terminate your account, CafePress.com will cease its use of your Member Content as soon as reasonably practical.

6.3 If you submit content to CafePress.com (on a message board, in connection with your participation in a CafePress.com contest or otherwise) you hereby grant CafePress.com a perpetual, royalty-free, worldwide, nonexclusive right and license to use such content (or any portion thereof) on the CafePress.com Web Site and in email "newsletters" to promote or advertise any of your Shops or the CafePress.com Service, with or without identifying the content as yours.
This now reads: 6.3 Product Thumbnails and Other Images created using the CafePress.com Service: You may only use thumbnails and other images created through the CafePress.com Service in your Shop or to promote your Shop or the CafePress.com Service. Any other use of such thumbnails or other images is strictly prohibited unless prior written permission is obtained from CafePress.com.

6.4 You may only use images and artwork you create with the CafePress.com Service in your Shop or to promote your Shop or the CafePress.com Service. Any other use of such images and artwork is strictly prohibited unless prior written permission is obtained from CafePress.com.
This has been removed completely

ANYONE WHO HAS THEIR ART, PHOTOGRAPHY, LOGOS, OR ITEMS ON CAFEPRESS WILL EFFECTIVELY SIGN OVER THE RIGHTS TO THEM, ALLOWING THEM TO DO WHATEVER THE HECK THEY WANT WITH IT FOR THEIR OWN BENEFIT, WITHOUT YOUR PERMISSION AND WITHOUT COMPENSATION EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2003. TAKE YOUR ITEMS DOWN NOW BEFORE THIS GOES INTO EFFECT OR YOU CAN LOSE LEGAL RIGHTS TO YOUR IMAGES.  

I can't stress enough how disgusted I am at the audacity of cafepress. This practice is abhorrent and revolting. Anyone wanting to terminate their agreement with Cafepress should use the Online Termination Form. I for one will be terminating my agreement with them and I suggest you do the same. SPREAD THE WORD! Let's put these assholes out of business for trying to take advantage of us! Tell everyone you know. In the meantime, post this in your own journals and link people to this page and the cafepress new agreement.

All the direct links to the new agreements
New TOS can be read here: http://www.cafepress.com/cp/info/help/new_memberagreement.aspx
New Privacy Policy can be read here: http://www.cafepress.com/cp/info/help/new_privacy.aspx
New Tiered Structure pricing can be read here: http://www.cafepress.com/cp/info/help/new_cpricing.aspx
New Referral Commission Policy can be read here: http://www.cafepress.com/cp/info/help/new_referral.aspx

 

YOU HELPED MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

TAKE AN IMAGE, SPREAD THE WORD!
 

 

Take an image. Put it on your own site. (save to your server please) Link it back here, let people know what's happening. You can help. Just by helping inform others of what's going on, you can help the fight against oppressive, money-greedy corporations that steal from all of us. Make a stand, tell them you won't accept such treatment. Tell them that your images and your commissions are your own!

It worked! See below...


Update: July 2003 - Member Agreement Has Changed 

Changes are listed effective June 24th, 2003 AND ARE IN EFFECT IF YOU ARE STILL A MEMBER AS OF JULY 1st, 2003.

From their "what has changed page"

Thanks to all those members who submitted feedback regarding our New Member Agreement. We have made some changes, and you can view our revised agreement by visiting:
http://www.cafepress.com/cp/info/help/memberagreement.aspx.

Some of the changes we made:

1) We eliminated the proposed 5% transaction fee on all markups. Instead, the 5% transaction fee will only be imposed on markups over $15.

2) Sections 5.5 - 5.7: Accounts which have earned commissions less than the $25 payment threshold can now hold their commissions for a year, after which we may automatically mail a check minus a $5 administrative fee. Members can always spend the full value of their commissions using CafeCash.

3) Section 6: We clarified all language regarding Intellectual Property Rights in Section 6.

The New User Agreement will go into effect as of July 1, 2003. If you have any questions, feel free to contact our Customer Service department by visiting:
http://www.cafepress.com/cp/info/help/index.aspx

Over 30,000 visits have been counted to this page. It really did make a difference. Thank you to everyone for your support and for helping tell greedy businesses that they can't get away with treating their customers like dirt!

Update: June 17, 2003 - TOS Policy Changes Underway! 

Well, well, well...would you look at that. We really DID make a difference - together. Here's a list of some of the changes underway to the TOS.

Sorry for the long delay in getting this information online. We are updating the Member Agreement to clarify a number of issues. In addition, we've been listening to your feedback and have made a number of changes. And the changes are (drum roll please).....

1) Regarding Section 5.5: We will now accrue commissions for 365 days. If a member still doesn't reach the payment threshold of $25 within a year, we will automatically send them a check for the amount they have earned minus a $5 administrative fee. As always, members will be able to spend their commissions within the year period using CafeCash.

2) Regarding Section 5.6: If you cancel your account, we'll send you a check for your earnings minus a $5 administrative fee.

3) Regarding Section 5.2: The 5% transaction fee will only be imposed on markups greater than $15.

The entire Section 6 is being re-written to clarify ownership of content. Members will as always continue to retain ownership of any content they sell through the service.

The new and improved Member Agreement is back with the laywers getting their final blessings. We will post it online as soon as possible.

In addition, we'll probably reset/clean up the forum related to Member Agreement changes so that posts related to the previous version do not cause confusion.

Thanks!

-Maheesh
(Maheesh Jain, VP Cafepress)

Source:
http://pub80.ezboard.com/fcafepressstoreownersforumfrm1.showMessage?topicID=110.topic 


*Update: June 8, 2003 - Bigger then Expected (Need your help)

I don't want to have to do this, but oh boy did this get a heck of a lot more attention then I ever dreamed. I am on the 8th day of the month and already over my bandwidth allotment. This doesn't even include the fact of the rest of the domain (my personal site) still has content (such as photography and a blog) that already have established, normal traffic. 
(Note: as of June 16th - 15 days live, we've had 16,105 people come by so far and more people everyday)

This is where I could use your help. Even a buck would do wonders. If you support the idea of the little guy (or gal in this case) being able to have a voice and share information which needs to be shared with the world, then give a buck (ok, $1.37 including fees leaving me a net of a buck) towards my overage. If you're really cool, give five ($5.45 including fees). At this point, anything would help. We're making progress and we're effecting a change. If this information is useful to you, or has helped you, please consider paying it forward. I'm not trying to get rich, I'm just trying not to be forced to close down my site due to overage fees. 
Though we've long since peeked in traffic, with over 30,000 visits and counting, this still is a major source of bandwidth for my domain. If this helped you in any way, and you'd like to hit the tip jar, it's appreciated.

Thank you to everyone for your support.



Or just Pay-Pal to webmaster@giveneyestosee.com


*Update: June 4, 2003 (Part 2)

So, they started emailing me today. And, while I can't say we have 100% success in changing the policies in relation to fees and commissions, I can say they are now promising that within 24 hours, they will adjust their wording on the TOS to clearly indicate their lack of legal right to your images.

This is a big victory and it goes to show that even the largest corporation can - and will - change and listen to their customers when you stand up for your rights. Thanks to the power of all of our voices together though message board posts, journal entries, and calls and emails to their customer service, the word got out! (to a tune of over 6,500 people in just one day visiting this page!!) They took us seriously when they realized we wouldn't stand for their changes. I will post an update when they post their revised TOS and any further correspondence that I receive from them.

Imagine the power of one voice. Don't ever forget to let yours be heard!


Update: June 4, 2003

Despite receiving several threats and very rude emails from "random" people (who all say almost word-for-word the exact same thing, and all mention they're not working for cafepress - yeah right), I am not stopping the spread of this information. We will not be silenced. This is not a hoax, their terms of service revisions can be found here: http://www.cafepress.com/cp/info/help/new_memberagreement.aspx and is exactly quoted on this site. I AM NOT DISCUSSING THEIR OLD TOS. THE OLD TOS was this:

6.3 You grant CafePress.com permission to reproduce your Party Marks in CafePress.com marketing and advertising, provided CafePress.com credits you and/or the original artist as actual owner of the Party Marks. CafePress.com will not represent ownership of any of your designs.

The NEW TOS DOES NOT INCLUDE ANY OF THAT. They no longer need to credit your work, nor will they refrain from misrepresentation of ownership of an image. This stops being effective July 1, 2003 at which point they do NOT need to credit you and can represent themselves as the owner of your images.

Don't fear the big business or let them bully you into changing your mind. You have a right to stand up for your rights, to demand changes to Member Agreements and you have a right to choice whether or not you 

In just three short days, we've already had over eight thousand people come here and read this information. Cafepress can either change their TOS or lose business. We DO make a difference.


Vanity Note:

Oh yeah, just because I'm sick of people assuming I'm a guy, I'm not. 100% female, thank you very much. I'm also not a kid. I'm a 26 year old, professional woman, who's worked in corporate environments for over eight years. I'm only doing this to help spread information freely because it's not fair that companies can get away with doing whatever they want to us just because people didn't notice, or didn't feel they could make a difference.


A Great Look at Selling your Merchandise Online

I came across the article, Show Me the Muggy! Merchandising on the Web and wanted to give people the link since it really does a great job hammering out the numbers to show just how little you get under Cafepress.com's rule and what other options are out there if you're willing to put forth just a little more work up front. A really good article and well worth reading for anyone - though it's aimed at web comics - who has traffic and members to support selling items.


Other Resources - Alternatives to CafePress

Having been asked what other services are out there, I've been informed of a site called Zazzle.com which does not have as many items, but does offer shirts (in multiple colors and designs) as well as cards and posters. I have not used them myself, but they came recommended by an artist friend of mine. I get no referral bonus for recommending them, I'm simply passing along info of an alternative provider.
**Note: Someone emailed me with a snippet from their TOS which claims they get perpetual rights to use your images (non-exclusively) for advertising and assorted. It was brought to my attention because the do not claim an expiration date for the rights to use your image. I can't comment either way as I've not delved into their TOS, but as always, if this lesson's taught us one thing, it's to read the fine print. The good thing about them is that no matter what, at the end of the year, they pay your whatever commission you've earned. A friend actually got a $1.72 check from them at the end of the year; they never just fail to give it to you, or absorb it as "administrative" costs.

Someone else mentioned via email the site which Neopets.com uses that offers personalized products, http://www.99dogs.com/ Again, I don't know anything about them personally, do not get a referral bonus and have not used their services (nor read in-depth on their TOS, which I suggest you do before signing up!) but, I wanted to pass along the info just in case.

The site, http://www.4imprint.com/ offers a huge assortment of items available to be customized with your designs/logo, however, they do require that you order in bulk quantities. (A quick scan of tee-shirts listed minimum of 36 pieces) Not for everyone, but certainly a good resource option for those who do a lot in quantity. Their Help pages include their privacy statements and policies. Thanks to Sabrina for giving me the link. (Again, I do not get a referral bonus for this link)

Lorien emailed me with another suggested alternative, http://customink.com They require a six shirt minimum for screen-print and a 12 shirt min for embroidery (oh, that's nifty) but they have a really nice selection of items from drinkware, bags, hats and tons of shirts (even denim). Their TOS can be found here. Might be a good alternative for people who know they need a certain quantity of items. (Again, I do not get a referral bonus for this link)

Stephen Fraser, of Lulu.com dropped me an email to inform me about his site. Targeted at authors who want to publish their books without giving up their copyright, it's a really great way of being able to print on-demand as opposed to a vanity press where you have to print a run and then hope you sell them. Their Member Agreement can be found here. (Again, I do not get a referral bonus for this link)

I have also been informed that the site thinkgeek.com offers the ability to sell custom items though I've not explored what, or to what lengths/costs. Apparently all the people who suggested this link were incorrect. From thinkgeek.com co-founder, Jen Frazier: "Although we do make custom items for a select few partners (Megatokyo, O'Reilly, etc.) we don't provide this as a service to the general public." Sorry for the confusion.

 


Updates Archives:

June 17th - EVEN MORE THINGS TO BE CHANGED!
Items are now marked with quotes from Cafepress on their plans to change/adjust policies.


June 8th
- I really need your help.

June 4th - read the transcripts here

June 5th - Read the Proposed New TOS Here
My personal thoughts and notations are here


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