I may be seeking legal advice in the coming week, due to an issue which I have discovered regarding a graphic designed banner I created for a client 3-4 years ago. Basically, I run a local forum, which offers local business advertising to cover our running costs. Now .... my typical approach is to create a free flat image banner for use on our site only, where clients are simply paying for the ad placement/subscription period.
So, I were shocked to stumble across my banner on other websites in connection to the client's business. One being one of those small ad rotators and another on one of the client's own business blog/site.
To provide a clear outline of my findings, one banner is exactly as I designed it and another has graphic/text changes applied. At the time of my initial banner design, the client provided a profile photo and a background scene image & supporting text to be added, otherwise, I designed the banner with this material provided. I produced a proof of the final banner prior to going live on our site, which is obviously where the client took and modified the banner for future use.
So ... with all that said, do we have a case to approach my lawyer?
Many thanks in advance for any advice anyone can offer.
That would depend on the terms and conditions / contract under which you issued the material to the customer at the time. Obviously you're more likely to have a valid case if it's explicitly stated that re-use of such materials was against the terms of your agreement.
But even if you have expressly forbidden their re-use and you conclude that you have got a case, do you really want to get a reputation as someone who sues their customers for what many people would regard as a minor misdemeanour? That sort of reputation might make some people wary of using you. Another thing to evaluate is whether it's actually worthwhile to pursue it - legal proceedings are expensive, both in terms of time and money.
Many thanks for your replies .... really appreciate it!!!!!!!!!!
I feared that the conclusion would be along the lines that you set out. What is ironic, is that the previous client from the same company ran their ad banner (also designed by me) for a few months, then paid to use the ad banner elsewhere ... which is perfectly okay of course. Then her successor comes along and assumes that the proof we sent for their ad banner is theirs for the taking/modifying and using around the net.
As this client goes back a few years, we now have more robust terms in place for advertisers and their ad banners. At the end of the day, it's still hard to accept, but as you say, not worth the time, money and grief .... lesson learned and move on.
.. thanks for the latest replies, food for thought!!
I feel that we need to connect with a local lawyer who specializes in internet law, with the hope of having a clear approach in where we go from here. The simple fact is, the client provided graphic/text content, I designed the banner, they only paid for advertising time on our site ... now they are using the banner on webpages for their own gain.
Hi as long as you concerned with copyright issue i think you should use a source of your photos and banners from a legit owner so that cost some money.
So to get a huge collection i will like to share http://moneyflood.yolasite.com/buy-nice-products.php this link where you will find a company who sell large amount of graphics element, like logo, banner, photos e.t.c
hope this will help you.