Creativity & Innovation

Don’t Let SHOP SAFE Prevent You From Buying and Selling Online

Trademark cans

The House of Representatives has inserted SHOP SAFE—a piece of legislation that would make it extremely difficult for any individual to sell things online and equally difficult for any online platform to compete with Amazon—into a 3,000-page trade bill. It cannot remain there.

SHOP SAFE would force pretty much any online service that you use to buy and sell things online—Etsy, Craigslist, WhatsApp, whatever you use to facilitate buying and selling—to institute draconian trademark protection rules. This includes the use of trademark filters, which cannot tell the difference between a used item and a counterfeit one, to remove listings and a three-strikes rule where anyone who gets three listings taken down would find their account terminated.
This would have wide-ranging effects on the online marketplace, cementing Amazon’s dominance and preventing people from buying used or independently produced and sold items. And while the bill supposedly is about consumer safety, it ultimately does little to protect us and everything to protect major companies.
The good news is that SHOP SAFE isn’t in the Senate version of the bill (USICA), and we need it to stay out. Tell them that SHOP SAFE is bad for consumers and sellers of all kinds and to keep it out of the final version of the trade bill.

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