We recently got some images from one of our manufacturers and proceeded to modify the images so we could use them to sell their products. We modified the images in a way which is completely unique. Just the other day we noticed a competitor 'borrowed' our unique images.
We called him up and politely explained the situation, we told him the modifications were done by us and we'd appreciate if he could remove the images. Well, it's come down to about 10 phone calls over a week period and them playing games with us.
I just wanted to verify 110% that if i obtained these images legally from my manufacturer and modified them in a unique way they are not fair game to steal. We're now going to have to investigate our options with a lawyer because of 2 stupid images. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Send a DMCA notice to their web host. If you do a search, you should find a number of threads here talking about the details of DMCA notices.
I'd just be sure that they really copied your images. Are you sure that they didn't just modify the manufacturer's images in the same way? If you didn't watermark them, you have no way of knowing for sure that they got the images from you. (JPG or GIF size being the same would be pretty convincing, though.)
You'd have to ask a lawyer about the legality of them modifying the original images in the same way.
While getting a lawyer may sound like a good idea, is it really worth it to you to retail a lawyer for someone copying 2 images that you have created as a derivative work whose original ownership is a mutual manufacturer?
You may need to check on the licence of the original pictures. Some people license their work in such a way that any derivative works from it are copyright free. If the manufacturer who supplied you the images isn't willing to pursue this then your case is much weaker.
Do you get on well with your contacts at the manufacturer? If so, and presuming that the offending site also sells the manufacturer's products, I would be inclined to have a polite word and ask if they might be inclined to make contact on your behalf.
Having said that, if you've manipulated and altered the manufacturer's product images without their permission, it may be you they have a problem with...