A “friend” has been using images of my work (I work in fashion) on her own website and claiming the images as her own. What can I do?

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A “friend” has been using images of my work (I work in fashion) on her own website and claiming the images as her own. What can I do?

She has now removed my images from her site, but refused to provide me with dates as to when these images went online, even though she claims they were put up by her web designers by accident. She has breached my copyright and that of the photographers I used. Any future client of mine who has seen these photos on her site will now believe I have used her images and not vice versa. She is refusing to give me her lawyers details to get in contact with. I feel compenstaion is in order.

Asked on May 11, 2009 under Business Law, California

Answers:

B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Copyright is a very technical field of law, and if you want compensation, you are probably going to have to sue her.  To do that successfully, you are almost certainly going to need a lawyer who has experience in this field, sometimes more broadly referred to as "intellectual property," which includes copyright and patent law.  One place to start looking for a copyright lawyer is our website, http://attorneypages.com

Some of the questions you would be facing, in your lawsuit, would be proof.  Can you prove, other than by your own testimony, that she did what you claim?  And for how long can you prove that the images stayed on her website?  Proving damages is another important question.


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