What to do if I’m a photographer and I had a photo taken from my facebook page, edited without permission and used for someone’s business?

The only rights I’d ever given to the people who took it were to ‘share’ it on facebook. I filed a DMCA with facebook to have it removed they had removed my signature from the image and they filed back saying they had permission to use it. I posted a bit of a warning to my photographer friends using their name and showing a copy of the edited photo on my personal facebook page, and now the people’s lawyer has sent me 2 letters saying if I don’t retract my statement and apologize he will advise them to proceed with a defamation lawsuit. Do they have a case?

Asked on November 11, 2012 under Personal Injury, Texas

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

It's only defamation if it's not true.  So if you are posting that some other business took your product and edited it without permission-- and those facts are true.... then they will not prevail in a defamation suit-- because truth is a defense to defamation.  However, even if you have a defense, it doesn't mean that it will keep them from filing the suit.  Many lawsuits are filed each year that are completely without merit.  The two letters seem to be a company/attorney trying to intimidate you.  Consider reverse intimidation-- hire an attorney for the limited purpose of preparing a reply asserting your defense.  If they think and know that you also have access to legal support, they may be less inclined to go forward.


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