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We all protect our work with copyright and the vast majority of people who use images without permission understand what they are doing.
I am guilty as I guess most are on this site of trying to recreate an image produced by someone else and I imagine that they would be over joyed that their image inspired another to try.
I have another problem that I am unsure, a) Why it is happening b) What to do about it. That is where the good people of EPZ come in.
In the past few months it has come to my attention that a rival photographer has just blatantly copied my marketing, social network interaction pricing structure and tried but failed to copy images and set ups.
As above I would have been flattered by the attempt to recreate one of my shots but this is creepy. Now I wont name and shame I dont think they are EPZ members and would normally have let it slide as something that just goes on in business but I have now been asked by a potential customer are we affiliated. I have explained on many occasion that I am not the best photographer in the world but the quality of this copycats work is below average and the association may affect my business.
Any advice would be appreciated.
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There is nothing you can do. It is probably happening because the guy is inexperienced and thinks if you can have a busienss selling at those prices then so can he - and if your website design works it will work for him as well.
I am no lawyer but if people have approched you and asked if your two businesses are related then it seems clear in the public mind that the websites are similar enough to be the linked. And if that is the case then if your website is copyrighted then you may well have a right to claim he is infringing your copyright and benefiting from your 'expertise'.
You could send him a 'cease and desist' request that he changes the design of his site. But if he refuses then legal action may be the only option - and I don't think either of you will 'win'.
You could start up a second company and website on the sly and let him believe he is still competing with the first ? But I can imagine that would be a right pain!
I think it would be very hard to prove 'intellectual rights', unless your impersonator has absolutely copied your set up, as there are so many examples and templates on the net to draw from. As for pictures, then unless it is a very close copy and he/she is trying to make money from copying you, it will be very hard to do anything without recourse to the courts and the potential expense of losing. You will also need to prove that your set-up was in place before his/hers.
I would suggest that you message him and inform him that he is infringing your intellectual rights, and that you will be invoicing him for use of your set-up and potential loss of business, in the same way you would if someone used your pictures without consent. That will give him/her a chance to change so it is distinctly different from yours.
If the pictures and set up is not as good as yours, you should not be losing business anyway.
Why do you think he is copying you? There could be a hundred and one other people that use the same template as you. The only answer would be to develop a website from scratch then see what happens. That way you can confirm whether it was done on purpose or he has just selected the same template as you.
Quote: Why do you think he is copying you? There could be a hundred and one other people that use the same template as you. The only answer would be to develop a website from scratch then see what happens. That way you can confirm whether it was done on purpose or he has just selected the same template as you.
It isn't the template it is the unusual appearance of marketing tools and offers, similar wording used to describe everything they do with remarkable timing days after I have done it in fact the template is no where near the same.
I didn't think there would be much legally to be done it is just frustrating to be associated with them if they where healthy competition that also wouldn't bother me too much as at least if someone mistakenly thought we worked together at least their work would be to a good standard.
I wish I could show you what was going on but I guess I will have to contact them and ask nicely to stop if they dont make I will make a point of highlighting the fact that we have no association.
First off, I'm not a lawyer and this is not a substitute for professional legal advice. It doesn't sound like there's much you can do. There's nothing to stop people using the same marketing tools / techniques or taking photographs that are similar to yours.
If everything is "similar" (including the name) you could argue that they are trying to pass them selves off as your business to benefit from the good will of your business. This is what Trademarks protect against. If you have a registered Trademark and they are using a very similar logo that would cause confusion to customers then you can file for a Trademark infringement. Without a registered Trademark you would have to file for "passing off", which is expensive and difficult to prove.
I remember talking to a Law lecturer years ago about passing off and he said he had a client that tried to sue for passing off and the other solicitor wrote back and basically said prove it; no further action was taken because it would have been too expensive.
I thought he was copying the website - if all he is doing is copying your marketing ideas then I don't think there is anything you can do without involving lawyers or setting up a parallel website that he (hopefully) won't get round to looking at.
Put a notice on your website saying you have no links with this other person
Forget it and move on, its not worth it.
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