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Custom sign used on a company's Instagram

Discussion in 'Internet & Social Media Law' started by Joe7480, Mar 9, 2019.

  1. Joe7480

    Joe7480 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
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    A major retail company posted an image of a custom sign we made on their Instagram feed. On their feed, everyone is asking how much the sign is, as it seems they are under the assumption that it is from that company. There is no reference to who made the sign only to the lady who had the photo. We designed and made the sign for a lady to put in her son's room. Any helpful advice is appreciated.
     
  2. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    If you believe someone is harming your corporation or business it would be prudent to discuss your concerns with YOUR attorney ONLY!
     
  3. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Is making signs for people your business?

    Did you have a contract with the customer?

    Do you have contracts with any customers for whom you make signs?

    If not, then the lesson learned here is that you should have one that says your work has copyright protection and you limit the use of the sign by your customer.

    You can certainly put her and the corporation on written notice that they violated copyright and demand the removal of the sign. She can claim it was a work for hire and ignore you. You'd probably win a court battle because copyright for the creator is a stronger presumption than undocumented work for hire but it's likely to cost you thousands in attorney fees to get to that point.

    What would you like to do?
     
  4. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    What sort of sign? For what purpose did the company post this image on its feed?

    So...how exactly did this happen? You made a sign and someone took a picture and that picture somehow ended up on this company's social media feed? Please explain.

    Advice about what? What is it that you want to accomplish?
     
  5. Joe7480

    Joe7480 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    We make custom hand painted signs for home decor. The company posted the image on their business instagram feed, with a "click to buy" link for all products in picture. Our sign is not listed for sale, however, all the customers are asking how they can purchase the sign.

    We made the sign for a lady to decorate her son's bedroom. She told us she was going to have a photo shoot of the room (She is a well known blogger/etc.) and asked if we would come off the price she would mention us on her social media, and we could have copies of the professional photos, etc. We declined to come off the price, and she posted on her Instagram (without referencing us for the sign), but did mention us in her blog post. This was all back in November of this past year.

    This month the company posted her picture and referenced her as she styled her son's room with their products. Their post said, "she hit a home run with designing this room". We were receiving emails and social media messages from people saying, congratulations, we saw your sign in the "X company" advertisement, etc. as people assumed this company started carrying our signs.

    We contacted the lady and asked why she or the company did not reference us as the maker of the sign, especially since there were numerous comments asking how to purchase the sign, and where the sign was listed. She stated that she had entered into an agreement/contract with the said company when she had the photo shoot of her son's room and per the contract she was not allowed to mention any other products besides those from said company.

    We were seeking advice to see if there was anything legally we could do. We did make the sign for an individual, however, the company using the photo (which looks as the sign is the main item) seems to be misrepresenting/misguiding the customers viewing the social media post, as it is presumed the sign is a product of the company, and it was a custom made sign by us.

    Thank you for taking the time to respond, and lending your expertise!
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2019
  6. Joe7480

    Joe7480 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Yes, we make custom ordered signs

    We did not have a contract with this customer

    We have not had any written contracts as most of our customers are purchasing for decorating their homes or for identifying their business name. We have declined to make signs for other business's looking to resale signs, and we make sure to sign/brand all our signs.

    Thank you for this information, and we have begun providing such a clause in all our new orders.

    I would like to better understand my rights as the creator of the sign, and if there is anything legally that can be done, look into pursuing legal action. Thank you for your response and advice!
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2019

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