We have had several experiences of ex employees using pictures of gardens they have worked on for us over the last couple of years. There is always a good reason they are ex employees, i.e. they just dont measure up to the level that we work at, and we do give people a very good chance, but at times it doesnt work out and they have to be let go.
Several have set up their own businesses, and have used Terra Firma Gardens projects that they have worked on to advertise themselves. These are projects that they would never have been able to do themselves in terms of design ability and working or quality. Its dishonest advertising, as they would not be able to deliver what they are advertising on their own.
Is their no recourse for this? Or perhaps I should just chill and take it as a compliment....Just thinking of the poor clients giving them commissions on the strength of what they see on these guys websites....they are in for a shock.
I have worked for companies in the past and used there pictures as my own, but i first asked there permission of course, workers i personally feel do have a right to use pictures of work they have carried out but its the wording that has to be right , I.E worked with, or designed with ... ect i do however agree if a person uses a photo of a job he must be able to carry out that job himself or his/her company carry it out.
mmm I dont know, its deception really. The guys I am talking about couldn't create anywhere near the quality that they are advertising as their own, as they are taking credit for the whole design too which they had nothing to do with. I cant speak for you of course.
I would contact the chap personally tell him to remove it or you will take court action aplly abit of pressure. i have found that if the workers have a contract with you make shure that inb that contract you state that they cant use pictures of your jobs to use them selves. ?
Bit of a perennial problem this one. It's happened to me in the past - in fact once a guy came for a job interview and showed me some of my work in his portfolio! I have always just 'let it go' rather than getting upset about it.
Bens comment about making it a contractual obligation to seek permission for using any images pertaining to your business is probably the way to go in the future if you really are concerned. However, if they are taking the pictures with their own camera (therefore they own the copyright to them) and they are making it clear about their contribution to the project depicted then I suspect you don't have much ground to stand on legally.
Think you'll find Sue, that intellectual property (the photos) created in the course of their employment by employees, actually belongs to the employer.
A solicitor's letter informing them of their breach of your intellectual property rights may be enough to stop them. If not, it can become a minefield!
What a nerve, never mind 'letting it go', I'd be spitting fevvers and these parasites need to remove your work from their portfolio forthwith.
Sue heres one for you if you ask other members on ljn how many photos have been nicked by other companies in the uk and abroad youl find it amazing how many companies do it and then you find several companies that have the same photo, however have you considered a watermark on your pictures ?
I don't think copyright in the photos is the issue - Benjamin is right in that it happens on the net all the time; we find our copyright images all over the place.
The issue is one of "passing off" in that the ex employee is claiming Terra Firma work to be his own, which is presumably fraud, actionable in law.
Whether its actually a fight worth winning is a decision only Susan can take.
It does work the other way, also, through personal experience.
In 2001 we were asked to manage a dying Nursery, turning over just £300,000 a year.
Our then Employer told us when we started that if we increased sales to £1,000,000 over 3 years, he would give us 50% of his business.
Our then Employer, Hagthorne Cottage Nurseries Limited, lied.
We accepted and within 2 years, through our skills, contacts and working 100 hours a week as Employees, we increased sales to £830,000 a year.
2 years and 2 months in, he sacked us, with no reason. Possibly to keep all of our ideas for himself.
We claimed Unfair Dismissal, which as an Employee, we had a 15% chance of winning. Our Employer never even had the courage to attend the Employment Tribunal.
We won our Unfair Dismissal claim, almost £50,000, but our former Employer has never paid us, and just closed his company, and started up again under a new name.
Employers can steal their Employees ideas to, and never pay for them!!!
If you post a blog on the subject and cleverly word the title to
include their business name and type of work, it will come fairly close
to their business website on a Google search, add the photo's and explain
the situation. At least you will have the satisfaction of allowing their potential
clients to know the full story.
Hey, thanks for all your intelligent responses to my moan. I like the contractual obligation side, not the legal action side (too strong a response for what I fee), and the blog idea is great too, bit rough though. I do support people starting their own businesses and dont want to wreck it for him, its the dishonesty bit that annoys me.
I know there is a lot of photo nicking going on on the web, every day I see photos of beautiful gardens with no credit to the creators. I guess in a sense all ideas are to some degree 'stolen' ...I must have looked through 100s of books and I'm sure I nabbed an idea or two, even if unconsciously. But its more the duping of the new clients that bug me. But then if there ever was an industry for 'buyer beware' its ours!
Really sorry T&S to hear of that experience you had, hope it didnt dent your trust in people too much.
Not to sure if there using your pictures they are breaking copyright cause legally if you took the picture copyright belongs to you. If this was the case they should have asked you and put a link back to your site or crediting you for use of the pictures this is one reason why a lot more people are embedding passworded watermarks in to pictures.