A few days ago, Brooklyn-based electronic musician and DIY synthmaker Brendan Byrne was surprised to find his store on the online marketplace Etsy was shut down because the site claimed he could not have handmade his instruments on his own—a requirement for those wishing to sell products through the site. After first taking this is a compliment, Byrne went through the process of proving to Etsy that his synths were in fact handmade, but they have yet to reactivate his store. Is he just that good?
As Byrne stated on his Tumblr last week, “Two days ago, my shop was unexpectedly CLOSED and I received an email stating that there was suspicion that I hadn’t constructed my devices by hand. At first I was a bit flattered and followed their instructions to confirm that I had in fact built them myself.”
Following his attempt to prove to Etsy that he had indeed handmade his own products, the company then asked for detailed documentation of each step in the building process, which Byrne was wary to share considering the possible ramifications of giving away this information. “It just so happens,” Byrne wrote on his Tumblr, “I don’t want Etsy to know exactly how I go about constructing my electronics and especially the enclosures. I realized this was an intellectual-property issue and that Etsy was making an unfair and undocumented demand of me.”
Byrne’s Etsy store still remains down, and his dispute is ongoing. In the meantime, Daily Dot’s full story on the dispute can be read here, and Byrne’s complete Tumblr post—along with the entire email exchange between the Brooklyn synthmaker and Etsy—can be read here.