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Use of images on website I designed

 
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lazarus
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Joined: 24 Jul 2013
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 24, 2013 7:49 am    Post subject: Use of images on website I designed Reply with quote

I recently administered and redesigned a non-commercial UK website for a group of people, I uploaded some of my own photos taken by myself to their website and also manipulated some of my images to fit and use on their homepage.

I still hold the original photos. No written or verbal agreement was ever made regarding the photos nor was any payment ever agreed or requested, there are no rules or conditions regarding images being uploaded to the website.

Due to some recent appalling behaviour by some members towards myself I no longer wish to be associated with this website and it's cause.

Can I ask the site owners to remove all images which were originally created by myself?
Or does the fact that I supplied them freely at the time of recreating their website make a difference bearing in mind no agreements were ever made regarding their use ?

Thanks.
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AndyJ
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 24, 2013 9:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Lazarus,

It is worth stating from the outset that there is little doubt that you own the copyright in these photographs, which means that you, alone, may decide how or if they are to be made available to the public. There is no evidence that you permanently transferred this right to anyone else, and so their use on the site would seem to be the result of a non-exclusive licence you granted to the site.

Given that there was no written or verbal agreement in place about the use of these images, we have to construct an artificial 'agreement' based on the intentions of the parties at the time the website was being built, and work from there.

From your posting it sounds as if you provided your photographs of your own volition in order to make the site better, rather than being asked to provide them. If that is so then I think you have every right to withdraw the licence you once gave for their use, on the basis that the terms on which you gave the licence - as a member of the group - have now changed because you are now outside the group and no longer wish to be associated with it.

Since there was no payment involved, I think that any suggestion that you might have been commissioned to build the site is unlikely to succeed, especially given the fact this is a non-commercial venture. Had it been a commission for which you were paid, I think this might have affected the status of the licence in favour of the group as a whole, which would have made it more difficult to insist on the removal of the images now.

Regrettably, although there is something called a right of integrity included within the Copyright Designs and Patents Act, it only protects against the unauthorised mutilation or adaptation of the actual work itself, not the context in which the work might be placed, even where that might be prejudicial to the honour or reputation of the author. Nonetheless, morally speaking I think you have strong grounds for asking for these images to be removed from a site which represents something you no longer approve of.

If the group refuse to take down the images, you can contact the company which hosts the site and request that under Regulation 19 of the Electronic Commerce (EC Directive) Regulations 2002, they require the site owners to remove the infringing items or face having the site closed down.
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Advice or comment provided here is not and does not purport to be legal advice as defined by s.12 of Legal Services Act 2007
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lazarus
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 24, 2013 10:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Many thanks Andy for taking the time to type out a speedy and very informative reply.
After reading your reply it has removed any doubt I had about asking them the the removal of my images.

Many Thanks
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