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A landscaping contractor is using photos of my yard on their website as part of its portfolio of services. Nothing in my legal agreement speaks to whether it is okay for the contractor to do so.

I asked the contractor to remove the photos from the website. The company declined, saying that they had a right to do so under federal law.

What are my options? Is the contractor correct? Legally, can they publish the photos over my objection?

Thanks,

Sam

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Since this hasn't been closed yet... You probably do not have any options; and yes, they can most likely publish/publicate the images against your wishes.

This is not a matter of copyright law; it is a matter of personal/privacy rights of which there are none for your house. So unless there is/was some invasion of privacy involved, or the publication of the images is causing you actual harm (loss of money/business/etc); then you have no grounds to file a complaint on.

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If there are specific location identifiers like your name/address or GPS data in the image EXIF, you can likely have them removed for privacy/security reasons (could provide good pointers for burglars), and the contractors would be unlikely to say "no" to such a request which reasonably protects an interest of yours.

If there are copyrightable pieces of artwork depicted (but those, if any are even likely in your jurisdiction, are most likely attributable to the landscaping contractor themselves), there may be separate claims by the parties holding the copyright.

If the photographs have been taken from your private ground by an independent photographer, you'd have some point of arguing trespassing (but that would allow for pressing penalties but not magically cause the photographs to change ownership). But if they have been taken in the course of their normal work access, you'd have rather dim chances of being successful with that kind of argument.

At any rate, try the legal StackExchange.

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