View Full Version : HELP! (boss asking me to break law here..)

August 22nd, 2001, 02:37 PM
my boss thinks that it's PERFECTLY okay to take other people's photographs and images and graphics and then alter them for use on our website.

it's illegal, and not only will he get sued, but I will get sued.

my cooworker is like, "just tell them you didn't do it"

but isn't that just going to compound the situation?

i can't get another job... i'm lucky to have this job at all...
i'm scared and i don't have that much money, i'm barely in a position to be unemployed again, let alone SUED.

he wont' listen to me, i've found NUMEROUS sources of information explaining WHY it's wrong to do this.. but he thinks that he "won't get caught" and if he does, he'll take liability.

i don't think he understands this situation fully.. about participatory infringement, contributory infringment, direct infringment.

i don't know how to handle this at all. i'm terrified of losing my job, but i'm also terrified of getting caught and sued.


August 22nd, 2001, 03:18 PM
Is there specific pictures and designs he has in mind? If I was still in contact with my friend who's a laywer that specializes in internet law I'd have him contact your boss for you.... :/

If he doesn't have specific pics in mind try http://www.tonystone.com for pics you CAN use (loopy recommended it to me)...

August 22nd, 2001, 03:43 PM
we are a network consulting company. we need pictures and images of industry relevant equpitment, etc.
problem is, he likes certain advertisements and graphics from magazines and websites, that aren't just picutures..they are someone's artwork

August 22nd, 2001, 03:43 PM
and he refuses to PAY for them.

August 22nd, 2001, 04:47 PM
Document the situation. A tape recorder would probably do fine, but if possible a video camera is ten times more effective.

Then when you have a record of him telling you to do something illegal, tell him that you won't do it. (Again, on tape or camera if possible.)

Then if he fires you, sue him for unlawful termination. Evidence is the victim's best friend.

Just whatever you do, don't break the law.

August 22nd, 2001, 05:01 PM
but i can't afford laywer fees, and i don't think that a petty case like this would even get me much... and what if I don't get anything? and how long will it take? how will i pay my bills till then?

it's just scary.. i don't know what to do....

August 22nd, 2001, 05:23 PM
Well it's a choice between saying "no" and possibly losing a job and possibly wanting to spend some money for him firing you... or risking getting sued for thousands etc...

August 22nd, 2001, 05:51 PM
I will go along with what everyone has said here and contacted someone to represent you or atleast give you advise... look on the workers' rights posters usually located by the time cards or round there for a phone number to call.
Other then that, being an artist, I do not like seeing my stuff being used without my permission... but there is a reason big companies get around being sued for that. I you feel you must keep your job and your boss can not be moved from his position, check on the last case sue for copyrights infringment. Artwork has to be changed by a certain % for it to be legal. So, if there is a picture of a wrench on the ground and you got rid of the background, you could use it, it is legal if changed by the min. %.

August 22nd, 2001, 05:53 PM
Be careful!

August 22nd, 2001, 08:40 PM
well, i talked to him and threw a bunch of legal terms and laws on the table and so he got confused and gave up, so we're gonna take the pictures ourselves.

*sigh of relief*

thanks all.

August 23rd, 2001, 12:17 PM
Excellent approach direct up front and concerned ......
Not every state has unlawful termination laws most DONT actually , and employers usually have it in their policy to be able to terminate for any reason. I was once fired for participating in union activities.... although that isnt what they SAID!!!! and I was fortunate enough to have a FREE tough New York City LADY labor laws lawyer based in Washing ton DC .... and guess who got rehired (well technically ; as IF i would go back there; they just agreed to give me an excellent reference per my job performance !)and compensated !!!!!!!
And it still was tough going .....it was a lesson in standing up for myself.. but I would rather have not had to have gone thru it :>, and I am glad you got it worked out :>
Love and Light

September 13th, 2001, 10:28 PM
It's a real great thing that you argued with your boss to the point where he gave in to you! I realize that is a hard thing to do, especially in the place you were in. That is all a really difficult situation and I am glad things turned out well for you!