While flattering, I am angered by Aquaspa Pools & Landscape Design (www.Aquaspapool.com) claiming my creative designs and work product as their own.
The immoral, fraudulent and dishonest activity of one individual, reflects upon an entire organization. One fact about the internet, is that once you post something it NEVER goes away. It is captured or cached on a computer somewhere.
They never responded to our numerous requests to remove the offending image, first sent on 8/31/12. Repeated requests to remove the image over the following months also were ignored.
My staff contacted aqua through their website's "contact us page," "email@example.com," and through the administrative contact for their URL: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We also sent letters to the administrator of their website: Amir El-Nesr, 1296 Mississauga Road, Mississauga ON L5H2J2 Canada and to the offices of Aquaspa & Pools, 3560 Rutherford Road, Unit 33, Woodbridge, Ontario L4H-3T8. No one EVER responded to any of the e-mails or letters.
We contacted their ISP. Their ISP advised us that since they were in Canada, they were not bound by US copyright laws. Had they been in the US, thier website would have been crashed without notification.
Source of the Image
I do not enter bogus design competitions. Therefore, I know that my images were not obtained through NSPI/APSP marketing material or image discs. We have NEVER released our images without copyright restrictions against republication. Every on-line image that is posted is visibly or invisibly watermarked. Hard copies of images or discs are stamped with the copyright notices.
Website Creator to Blame?
Make sure whoever creates your website is not LAZY. The business owner must ensure that they are not re-posting the copyrighted material of others. Instead they should be creating ORIGINAL material.
Business owners can use copyscape.com, articlechecker.com or a similar website to compare the webpages their webmaster creates to the content of others on the internet. You may find that they are merely cutting and pasting other people's copyrighted material.
Allowing a website creator to plagiarize, exposes your firm to litigation for copyright violations and the angst of others in your industry.
Many firms employ software that actively searches the web for images and text from articles, websites and postings. The internet is merely a series of 1 & 0's. These search engines compare known copyrighted material to other postings, comparing the numerical sequences. From these firms, a business owner can receive a weekly reports of sites that have re-posted copyrighted material without permission.
A firms unresponsiveness to notices of copyright violations and acts of plagiarism, only serves to condone and endorse the illegal activity.
A lot of people in business and government have lost their ethics and morals. They think that there's nothing wrong with lying, cheating, stealing or acting fraudulently.
Personally, I'm outraged.
Paolo Benedetti - Aquatic Artist
"Creating water as art."™
Aquatic Technology Pool and Spa