Ask a Business Lawyer. Get Business Law Questions Answered ASAP.
Thank you for your question. Please permit me to assist you with your concerns.Oh, good grief. What you are describing is potential 'copyright infringement', since by modifying and creating your own schematics, you have created your own intellectual property. From your facts it is unclear if your business directly suffered, or that you can prove that your business ended up losing customers (as that would be a separate cause of action for 'tortious interference with a business interest'), but you have a very direct and blatant copyright infringement claim based on outright theft of your work product and the use of such product without consent. Their only potential defense would be that by placing the images online, you have failed to protect them and therefore made them part of the 'public domain', thereby losing protection and a claim that they are actively infringing on your interest.Here are part of the statutes that would govern the infringement and the remedies involved:http://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap5.htmlThere are quite a few cases that govern--here is a link where you can evaluate the laws. Please give me a bit of time to see if I can find cases in Massachusetts or Maine, since on a state level I have not been successful as yet:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_copyright_case_law (See Lenz, MDY Industries, and Perfect 10)Good luck.
I am pleased you think I have a cause of action. I thought so much myself. However, I was looking for a case that might speak specifically to the issue I posed: downloaded a file and using it without consent on another website. Are you unfamiliar with this area of law and do you think that is something you could find that would apply in a Massachusetts court? Wikipedia is not really what I had in mind for an answer.
Thank you for your follow-up, Henry.I am quite familiar with this situation and with such causes of action, which is why I was looking for more specific case law. However the 'wikipedia' entry is merely a means under which a case sumXXXXX XXXXXsting is provided, and why in this case I linked you to it (otherwise I have as much disdain for the website as you do because the information may be incorrect). The cases they list, however, are accurate.However please review my original answer, while you very well may have a cause of action, if you uploaded and failed to protect your files online, there is a very strong argument on the other side that the information was out in the public domain and is no longer protected.After searching, I believe I found a case that is on point. Please review it, and let me know how I can further assist:http://homepages.law.asu.edu/~dkarjala/cyberlaw/KelllyvArriba%289C2003%29.htmGood luck.
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).