My husband has an ex employee who took our pictures from completed pole barn jobs and he posted them on his own craigslist ad without permission from my husband. We are loosing a lot of business because of it. He also has his ad basically verbatim from my husbands but $400 cheaper. What can we do about this? Thank you,
Patty Shields 315-313-2244
If you own the copyright to the pictures (usually owned by the person who took the picture, but can easily be transferred) you should send a DMCA take-down notice to Craigs list.
You may also want to consider hiring a lawyer to send a Cease and Desist letter. While a cease and desist letter has little legal impact, it is a relatively inexpensive way to put the person on notice that you are not going to let these actions continue and that you are serious about pursuing your legal remedies. It also tells the person that they could get in legal hot water which will cost them a lot of legal fees if nothing else. This will often convince them to stop their evil ways.
This post is provided for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice specific to you. This general information is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney in your jurisdiction. The attorney client relationship is not established by this post.
I agree with Mr. Jaffe. I add that you should not post your name/phone number in this public forum. Attorneys answering here are not permitted by both Avvo's rules and Bar rules to accept or solicit clients through this forum. If you want to speak to an attorney, you will have to reach out to the attorney.
Please note: This response is solely general information or suggestions about your issue. It is not intended and should not be considered as legal advice, and I am not your attorney. Such professional advice requires creation of an attorney-client relationship and full disclosure to an attorney of a client’s circumstances and that attorney’s opportunity to analyze those circumstances and review any relevant documents against applicable law.
Any creative expression will be covered by copyright law automatically. Then you register the work with the US Copyright Office so to perfect your bundle of federal rights like the right to access the courts, the right to ask for statutory damages (sometimes the only damages worth bringing the case over), the right to attorney fees, etc.
You can certainly claim copyright infringement if the pictures were taken by your husband and not the employee. Unlike professional photos, however, where a photographer contributes creative expression like lighting, setting, staging, posing, filters, etc. a general picture of an object is really just a facsimile of that object and not really possessed of any creative expression that is the basis for copyright protection. So while I would still claim that here, it would not be something you would sue over.
If you feel you need attention, I suggest that you consult with a lawyer in private and discuss your objectives in more detail. You can start by calling around to several for a free phone consultation, get some insights then pick the best fit to work with.
DISCLAIMER: this is not intended to be specific legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. No attorney-client relationship is formed with the law firm of Natoli-Legal, LLC on the basis of this posting.
I am guessing that there was not an employment contract that stated photographs of work sites belonged to the company and not the employee taking the pictures. I agree with my colleagues, especially Ms. Kobrin re. posting personal information on public websites, solid advice for any public forum. Undercutting a past employer is dirty doings and posting such on a review would not be unfair in my humble opinion. I would not hire someone I learned was doing such to his ex-employer, but you will have to face the fact that you now have competition and will have to either cut costs or demonstrate/market your extra value somehow. I wish you well.
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