Can my former employer legally use my photos on their website?

I used to work for a local bookstore. I said I’d create their website and took photos on my own time of the store for the website. After a confrontation regarding a work conflict with the owner I was let go. For well over a year I have asked many times for them to please remove my photos from their site and they keep assuring me that they are working on it but the photos are still up. Do I have any legal backing in getting them to remove the photos due to copyright and personal property? I was not paid extra to do the website or for the use of my photos.

Asked on July 26, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, South Carolina

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Since you took the photos pursuant to your employment, they are the legal property of your former employer. This is true whether or not you took them on your "own time"; getting extra compensation for doing so does not change this.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

You took those photos for you employer, as part of the work you were doing for them; therefore, the photographs belong to them. Any photos taken, anything written, etc. for your employer are the employer's property. It does not matter if you did not get exta compensation for them, or this was not your "regular" job--that it you did while employed, for you employer, makes the photos theirs.


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