We had a local "cabinet shop and construction co" here advertise on television using "clip photos" they purchased from some on line company representing their work. These guys couldnt do that quality of work if their lives depended on it. Bunch of us got together and called saying we were interested in having our kitchens remodeled but really wanted to see the ones in the ad in person...they never got back to us.
so the photo's are his, but the work is not? sounds like a fine line... i know it's not ok to use other people's photo's, but people take their own photo's of what ever it might be is their own photo. so if he's saying he did the work in the pic... i'm not sure what the law or rules would say...
Yeah, if he took the photos you may not be able to make him take them down. As far as claiming that they are his work, you should be able to do something about that but it will likely cost you money...
I would try the C&D letters anyway. It may scare him into removing them whether or not it's enforceable.
Personally, I would not spend a penny on the idea that some judge will say "you win". You'd need some legal theory after all. Is your privacy invaded? No, if anything that's the HO's issue. Did your contract with the HO (you did have a paper contract, right?) address advertising rights regarding your work product? Probably not, so there goes arguments based on contract law. Are you personally damaged somehow? Not really, so there go arguments based on tort law.
I'm thinking this guys real weakness is in credibility and referrals. You could tell him you'll tell other contractors what he did and that you are not going to work with him anymore (let other guys think of that themselves). If the customer base is small or tight-woven, i.e. with a good rumor mill, you could let the customer base know also.
And all of that would make you feel good, but would it really make your life better?
In my opinion, not really. First, it would expose you to a possible claim by that guy for liable and slander. Never mind that the truth is a defense against slander. Think of the hassle and expense you'd incur. Second, whoever you complain to might not get the message that the other guy is a bum they might instead see you as a whiner. Third, how is anyone else supposed to know who's telling the truth?
So in short my answer is: calmly ask the guy if that was his work and where and when it was done... aftter all there is at least a slight chance this is a misunderstanding and you don't want to come on like Dr. Louis Gates by leaping to a conclusion. If his answer is unsatisfactory you can huff and puff and tell him you'll spread the word among other contractors that he stole credit for your work. DO NOT say "cheat" etc. Say "stole credit for my work". That helps you avoid the slander accusation. If that still doesn't work, then move on, don't work with him anymore, and just do better work at a better price to steal his customers because they recognize the value of hiring you over him.
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