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Have you ever been sued?

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  #11  
Old 07-15-2011, 12:36 AM
Lithodia Lithodia is offline
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Re: Have you ever been sued?

Okay well I have a question. If you worked for a company a few years back and used some images you retouched for them in your on line portfolio can they sue you? Given that you never signed anything stating you could not share those images, yet you never signed something saying you could..Also before suing you would they first tell you to take down the images?? I am having a bit of a delima with this...years ago I worked for a company did some nice work for them and recently began showing the work on my site...but now I'm getting a bit nervous.... anyone ever delt wtih this type of situation?
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  #12  
Old 07-15-2011, 07:08 AM
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mistermonday mistermonday is offline
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Re: Have you ever been sued?

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Originally Posted by Lithodia View Post
Okay well I have a question. If you worked for a company a few years back and used some images you retouched for them in your on line portfolio can they sue you? Given that you never signed anything stating you could not share those images, yet you never signed something saying you could..Also before suing you would they first tell you to take down the images?? I am having a bit of a delima with this...years ago I worked for a company did some nice work for them and recently began showing the work on my site...but now I'm getting a bit nervous.... anyone ever delt wtih this type of situation?
It's pretty straight forward. If you do not hold the copyright to those images and do not have written permission to use them or their derivatives, you are in violation of the law. Furthermore, if your use of those images violates the agreement that the model signed with the copyright owner, then you arecausing that owner to be in violation of that legal agreement, which would give that company more reason to pursue legal action against you. Whether or not you get any warning depends on the company. Your best approach is to ask for permission, not forgiveness.
Regards, Murray
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  #13  
Old 07-15-2011, 09:05 AM
Lithodia Lithodia is offline
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Re: Have you ever been sued?

So even if the images are only shown to potential clients its still in violation...hmm it really is a pain especially if your just trying to show what work you are capable of doing.. I really dont want to contact the company for fear of opening myself up to grief..is it possible to just use the images just to show potential clients or is even that illegal... Has anyone you known personally been the subject of being sued for something like this... Just curious about how many people actually do end up going after small time retouchers..
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  #14  
Old 07-15-2011, 09:16 AM
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mistermonday mistermonday is offline
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Re: Have you ever been sued?

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Originally Posted by Lithodia View Post
So even if the images are only shown to potential clients its still in violation...hmm it really is a pain especially if your just trying to show what work you are capable of doing.. I really dont want to contact the company for fear of opening myself up to grief..is it possible to just use the images just to show potential clients or is even that illegal... Has anyone you known personally been the subject of being sued for something like this... Just curious about how many people actually do end up going after small time retouchers..
Think about it: You are using some company's copyrighted images to secure business for yourself and assumingly generating some income. That's primarily why copyright laws were written. Violation of those laws for profit put the violator in a worse position.
Regards, Murray
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  #15  
Old 07-15-2011, 03:56 PM
Lithodia Lithodia is offline
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Re: Have you ever been sued?

Okay so I am just playing devils advocate here, so lets just say you are a retoucher and worked for 10 years at the same company...You decide to go freelance..According to you the 10 years that person spent working on images doesnt matter and tecniqually by law he or she cannot show a single image they have worked on...So what does one do in that situation...just never show any work? I know the law is the law but it does seem there should be some loop hole out there so people can infact show what they had worked on especially if all employers ask for before and after samples. But i appreciate your feedback and will most likely not show any images that may be in question.

thanks
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  #16  
Old 07-15-2011, 07:10 PM
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shift studio shift studio is offline
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Re: Have you ever been sued?

While Mistermonday's advice is good and technically correct (afaik), its expected in this business that you're going to show your work to prospective clients in your book, and no one is going to fault you for that. Thats my experience but don't quote me. Posting the same work online for all the world to access ... thats another story - better get permission for that.

Personally, I asked my clients, some responded in writing, some responded verbally. I told them that they can assume in the future I may decide to show any new projects without asking. Everyone was okay with it. Again just my experience - its possible you may have clients/projects that this will not be okay.

Right now I have a pseudo-legal note (it likely wouldn't hold up in court) appearing on estimates and invoices stating "All electronic files and composite layouts prior to final, printed or “live” product remain property of Shift Studio Inc. Shift Studio Inc. reserves right to display all images online as a means of promotion unless otherwise specified." This at least tries to cover my butt, inform the client, and give them the option to disallow my use online for self promotion.

Hope this adds some insight and perspective for consideration.
--Shift Studio.
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  #17  
Old 07-15-2011, 07:21 PM
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Re: Have you ever been sued?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lithodia View Post
Okay so I am just playing devils advocate here, so lets just say you are a retoucher and worked for 10 years at the same company...You decide to go freelance..According to you the 10 years that person spent working on images doesnt matter and tecniqually by law he or she cannot show a single image they have worked on...So what does one do in that situation...just never show any work? I know the law is the law but it does seem there should be some loop hole out there so people can infact show what they had worked on especially if all employers ask for before and after samples. But i appreciate your feedback and will most likely not show any images that may be in question.

thanks
Suppose I had worked for Adobe for 10 yes developing strategic technology. if I leave for a competitor should I have the right to take some of that intellectual property with me. The answer is no. I was paid to develop it but my former employer owns it. Unless you have an employment agreement in which you negotiated some rights to some IP. If you did not do that, then you may try to negotiate something after the fact. Otherwise you will just need to build a new portfolio from scratch. It's one of life's tough lessons to learn, sorry.
Regards, Murray
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  #18  
Old 07-16-2011, 04:13 AM
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Repairman Repairman is offline
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Re: Have you ever been sued?

Here's another 2 cents. Personally, I wouldn't feature projects created for a previous employer on my website. At best it's misleading and at worst actionable in court. We all know it's tempting (no haloes here) but it could adversely harm your reputation. You know the web; once it's out there all sorts of nonsense goes on. I even check with my own clients whether it's ok or not to upload samples - just a formality but everyones covered.
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  #19  
Old 07-16-2011, 10:04 AM
RobertAsh RobertAsh is offline
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Re: Have you ever been sued?

Regarding the original question, if you work from home it might be much less expensive to add a rider for your home business to your existing home insurance. At least in the US, our insurance company has a very inexpensive additional expense that covers business liability on premises or even in the field -- for a home-based business.


Regarding company structure, we formed a Limited Liability Company. That provides our business with the corporate advantages of:
  • Separating our personal income from business income
  • Separating our business liability from our personal liability
...while not subjecting ourselves to corporate double taxation (being taxed once for the corporation and a separate time when the corporation pays us).

It's inexpensive to form an LLC in California but there's an $800 a year minimum tax. If your LLC makes enough that your tax liability > $800 a year then you pay your tax liability instead.

It's worth Googling and seeing if LLCs or equivalents work the same in Canada.
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