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preserving the past
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Discussion Starter #1
Is anybody here familiar with the law as it pertains to image and credit rights? Here are my questions:

1- Am I allowed to use pictures to advertise for my services if the pictures are of something I did while working for a company? i.e. - I build a custom built in for my boss for a client of his. Do I have the right to use pictures of that built in to promote my side business? I would have no problem giving credit to the company that I was working for as the general contractors.

2- If I were to leave the company I am working for can I put in advertising that I used to work for them (as well as other top companies that I have worked for)?
 

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preserving the past
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Discussion Starter #3
seek permisiion

Well that could be the problem. If i quit a company they are probably not going to give me permission. That is why I want to know if i have the legal right to do it as long as I give the former company credit as the contractors. i.e.- " Custom built in I made for XYZ contracting company"
 

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Woodworking Wanderer
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Are you going into compete with their business (e.g. Are they a woodworking shop), or did you build this for use at the company? Former, bad idea...latter, I'd add the item to my portfolio. I'm no lawyer, though.

Are the pics posted in public places, or is it in your portfolio of work performed? If portfolio, I'd use it...if more public, I'd use it and wait for a cease/desist letter. But that's me, I don't have much to lose.

Is this company litigious? You probably know the answer to that...if yes, and I'm trying to compete, I'd probably steer clear.

If I built it with my hands and equipment, I'll use it in my portfolio. If others were physically involved while working (unless it's freelance) on it as an employee, I'd leave it out...especially if it is somebody else's design.

Best advice I have, after all is said and done: if you're looking to go into big-time business, spend a few bucks to consult with an attorney.

Or...you could build another one and take pics of that one!
 

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shopman said:
Is anybody here familiar with the law as it pertains to image and credit rights? Here are my questions: 1- Am I allowed to use pictures to advertise for my services if the pictures are of something I did while working for a company? i.e. - I build a custom built in for my boss for a client of his. Do I have the right to use pictures of that built in to promote my side business? I would have no problem giving credit to the company that I was working for as the general contractors. 2- If I were to leave the company I am working for can I put in advertising that I used to work for them (as well as other top companies that I have worked for)?
I would ask the home owner for their permission when using a picture of the interior of their house. Some people might be touchy about that (I would be).

And there's no reason you can't list prior work experience.
 

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You should own the copyright to a picture you took. In a non commercial usage you probably could publish it without problem.
However when used commercially it may be a little different.

If you took the picture while on the company payroll then your company may have an issue with you using it commercially.

It may make a difference if the picture subject is available for view by the general public. If it is of something inside someone's home then you should get a written release to use it commercially.
 

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I asked the same questions 10 yrs back or so, when working for a dept of defense company. i was quickly explained that anything I did while being paid by them, is owned by them. that is why they pay you, for your talents and you production.

If requested, the company always has the option to grant your use.
 

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You could use new pictures if you asked the client to let you take them. In that way, you'd be using your own photos taken on your own time, not related to the company. You can further state that you made these while employed with another employer and you don't have to mention that employer by name.

I worked for consulting engineers for 15 years and we've always used past projects while working for other employers on our resumes as well as in our proposals. I'm sure it's used all over the place. How else could you ever market yourself to others if you can't let them know what you've done.
 

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If you built something for someone as an employee on the payroll in most states that is a work for hire and all rights to the output (including photos) are owned by the employer.

that all being said, there are always mitigating circumstances that could make it possible for you to use this for your portfolio.

As part of setting up your business you will most likely require the services of the legal profession and generally a labor specialist I would go that route as part of my business setup.

While it seems easier to beg for forgiveness than ask for permission it is not going to be less expensive.
 

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Is anybody here familiar with the law as it pertains to image and credit rights? Here are my questions:

1- Am I allowed to use pictures to advertise for my services if the pictures are of something I did while working for a company? i.e. - I build a custom built in for my boss for a client of his. Do I have the right to use pictures of that built in to promote my side business? I would have no problem giving credit to the company that I was working for as the general contractors.

2- If I were to leave the company I am working for can I put in advertising that I used to work for them (as well as other top companies that I have worked for)?
Any answers you get on this forum will be worth exactly what you paid for them.

Go see a lawyer if you are serious about wanting an answer.

George
 

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preserving the past
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Discussion Starter #12
Any answers you get on this forum will be worth exactly what you paid for them.

Go see a lawyer if you are serious about wanting an answer.

George

Understood. I was just curious to see if another member had all ready made this inquiry to a lawyer.
 

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Even if someone had, different states have different laws. Check within your state or the state you plan to work in.
 

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Is anybody here familiar with the law as it pertains to image and credit rights? Here are my questions:

1- Am I allowed to use pictures to advertise for my services if the pictures are of something I did while working for a company? i.e. - I build a custom built in for my boss for a client of his. Do I have the right to use pictures of that built in to promote my side business? I would have no problem giving credit to the company that I was working for as the general contractors.

2- If I were to leave the company I am working for can I put in advertising that I used to work for them (as well as other top companies that I have worked for)?
1- Am I allowed to use pictures to advertise for my services if the pictures are of something I did while working for a company? No they would own that , unless the released it to you

Do I have the right to use pictures of that built in to promote my side business? if your boss said you designe it and build it in your shop than it is your's , if it is built in his shop and his disigne , unless you get a release again NO my take on this a release is a must signed by the head person
 

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Just ask. You won't be a threat to the company, especially if you don't have any work of your own to show. Better get a lot of moonlight experience before starting out on your own. Then you will have tested the waters and have pictures of your own. Your best advertising will be word of mouth. I wouldn't worry about creating a web site, just get out there and do some work, one job will lead to another if you are any good. Who cares who you worked for, you aren't that company. Do what you say you are going to do, on time, on budget and to the best of your ability. Everything else will fall into place. Don't waste time dreaming, just do it.
 

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preserving the past
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Discussion Starter #16
Just ask. You won't be a threat to the company, especially if you don't have any work of your own to show. Better get a lot of moonlight experience before starting out on your own. Then you will have tested the waters and have pictures of your own. Your best advertising will be word of mouth. I wouldn't worry about creating a web site, just get out there and do some work, one job will lead to another if you are any good. Who cares who you worked for, you aren't that company. Do what you say you are going to do, on time, on budget and to the best of your ability. Everything else will fall into place. Don't waste time dreaming, just do it.

I understand. I actually have 30 years in the business and the first 15 were for my own company. its just that in the last 15 I have built some pretty nice stuff while in the employ of three different contractors.

I will seek legal advice on this because although many of you feel that it is the contractors property, the way I see it is that once the homeowner pays off their bill it is their property and if I get permission from them then all would be good. I will let you all know what the lawyer says once I find a guy who is well versed in this specific field.

PS- The business I am starting will be in direct conflict with the guy I am currently working for so I do not expect much cooperation from him. The other two contractors are out of business.
 

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shopman, to give you an example similar to your situation. I work on UAVs. I build the things they carry (non-weapons) and I build the parts that allow them to be controlled. Now, if I start my own company can I take a picture of a General Atomics Reaper (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:MQ-9_Reaper_CBP.jpg) or a Northrop Grumman Hunter (http://www.designation-systems.net/dusrm/m-155.html) and say I built them? Technically both are true as I've worked extensively on both for over 7 years and I have been the system design lead for aircraft control changes for both aircraft.

I guarantee you, if anyone knows anything about my field, they're going to call me a liar costing me business, or worse, causing me a lawsuit.

Now, obviously your situation is a little easier to cover up that someone else owns the design but the fact is they do. If you are an employee of a company, no matter what state in the USA, what you do for that company, while in their employ, is their property unless explicitly designated as your property. What that means is you can say you worked on a project but you can't claim ownership of it in any way.

So it comes down to interpretation of what the picture is implying. If you're using it as an example of "here's the type of work I do" but you didn't do all the work, you're going to get caught eventually. If you're using it to say "I worked on this as part of a design/build team for such and such employer" then you're less likely to have problems.

I don't understand why you think a previous employer would have issue with you going out on your own though. Is there some bad blood there that's causing you to branch out again? If not, asking is the easiest option. Better yet, send them an example page of your website and say "hey, here's what I'm trying, do you mind if I use this picture"?

Alternatively, don't put it in public space. Carry the pictures as part of your portfolio that you show prospective clients in person so you can explain the details. Either way, make sure you ask permission from the home owners first.
 
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