Changing usernames

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Original Post

Rokali says

It has been our external policy that usernames can't be changed, because doing so breaks our database and makes it a bit too easy for people to run from bad behavior.

It has been our internal policy to allow usernames to be changed in the event of legal proceedings for trademark infringement. Documentation must be provided, and we have to go into the database by hand and saw several tables in half to make it work. (It's not pretty.)

We have not published this internal policy because we are worried about it being abused.

Recently, a popular seller on Etsy was served due notice for Copyright infringement by a large corporation. In concert with our above policies, we changed her username. This is by no means the first time we have done this, but it was the most visible.

Do you think we should update the DOs & DON'Ts with our internal policy? How do we guard against people people taking advantage of it?

Posted at 11:52am Jul 21, 2007 EDT


JaredKS says

I think the above description would fit nicely within the DOs & DON'Ts. It's clear that it's a service you provide only under extreme circumstances.

Thanks for the clarification, Rob.

Posted at 11:54am Jul 21, 2007 EDT

Well put, Rokali. Personally I think you can update the Dos and Don'ts to include the fact that you retain the right to make exceptions to rules whenever the kings and queens see fit. No one can take advantage of it if you don't let them.

Posted at 11:54am Jul 21, 2007 EDT

I don't know if I understand: You changed her username because she was infringing a corporation's trademark?

Posted at 11:55am Jul 21, 2007 EDT

Actually, no I don't think you should update the policy. I feel exactly as you do that you will likely be hit up by every Tom, Dick and Harry with reasons why they "need" to change their username.

If someone truly needs this service I'm certain they will contact you with the proper documentation necessary. Otherwise, I forsee someone's full time job investigating every request for user name change.


Posted at 11:57am Jul 21, 2007 EDT

I think the copyright bit is important to incorporate into the Do's and Don'ts. While I know I researched my shop name prior to setting up shop, it is possible that anyone, even with proper precautions, may encounter this problem. By making it clear in the Do's and Don'ts that this is only possible with copyright issues, it will eliminate confusion and frustation.

Posted at 11:57am Jul 21, 2007 EDT

Rob, thank you for that wonderful and clear explanation, I think what you stated would be perfect in the DOs and DONTs and makes perfect sense

Posted at 11:57am Jul 21, 2007 EDT

tortillagirl says:
I don't know if I understand: You changed her username because she was infringing a corporation's trademark?

From my understanding, that is what happened. I actually found the shop before the name was changed and I was worried that this would happen.

Posted at 11:58am Jul 21, 2007 EDT

Ah, NOW I understand. Her username itself was in violation of someone's copyright. I find that totally justified.

I don't see why people should insist upon being able to change their username without proper justification. You make it quite clear when we sign up that the username should be chosen carefully as it cannot be changed later on.

Posted at 12:00pm Jul 21, 2007 EDT

Rokali says

OK I updated the DOs and DON'Ts:
(See the note added to the first list item under Member Accounts.)

Thanks for your feedback!

Posted at 12:00pm Jul 21, 2007 EDT