A Company Using My House as a Display Picture on The Box without My Consent

Hi there,

I need advice. One company (letter box) company took a picture of my house without my consent and they stick it on the retail box , you may see it at Bunnings Warehouse. What can i do about it ?


This is my house



Thanks to Thrift for the pic


  • +3

    Unless you're after free stuff…. whats the problem.
    It's hardly a picture of your house.

  • +2

    You live in a letterbox?

  • +1

    Demand a free letterbox!

  • -1

    They stole your copyrighted work, your landscape design. A remedy could be them paying you for your time designing and creating the landscape in order to claim ownership of it for pictorial purposes.

  • -1

    I think the point being that, the person who took the photo, should have at least asked for permission. Seriously they just need to walk up to your door and knock.

    • The problem is if the person answering the door says, "no". Then they have to find some other place…
      And they probably think it's unlikely people are going to be happy with them taking a photo, photoshopping it then using it to sell things…
      Easier to assume no one will notice…

  • -1

    OP don't take it lightly, your house is the reason people are buying their product. Don't be gentle on them, they making profits at your expense. Demand compensation and ongoing royalty for each sale.

    • -1

      Thanks, i will try to email them and ask them to explain. Thanks for ur support.

      • +4

        I never understand this attitude in people and am genuinely curious. What exactly do you lose in this scenario? What tangible "expense"? Invasion of privacy?

        So someone is making money off a product which looks good against your house photo. Good for them. But did you landscape with the intention of profiting from the work?
        Not saying you shouldn't contact them but not sure what you actually want?

  • +1

    Send a mail to them. If I were you, I would take it as a compliment and send the link to all my family and friends :)

  • +2

    You should contact Jackie Chiles and sue them for millions for all your pain and suffering

    • +4

      Yeah there's going to be suffering. It's gonna be suffering for them. This a clear violation of your rights as a homeowner. It's an infringement on your constitutional rights. It's outrageous, egregious, preposterous.

  • +3

    From what I understand, as long as they did not trepass your property when taking the photo, they have not broken the law in anyway.

    That exterior view of your house is open for anyone to see and take photos.
    You do not own the view that someone else has of your house.

    This is how google gets away with street-view.

    • -2

      google dont use it for commercial purposes though… Correct me if im wrong.

      • +2

        Yeh Google don't sell ads

      • +2

        All Google do is for commercial use. They are a global multinational conglomerate making Billions a year, not a charity donating Billions a year.

  • +1

    I'm impressed you even noticed.

      • Wow…wonder how anyone can notice? that piece of stone in the picture? amazing…truly left no stone unturned. Salute to your in law - no need for glasses.

  • In laws
    Edit: eep, didn't reply properly

  • +1

    No chance in hell. Well within their rights to do this.

  • +1

    How did you find out that your house was on this box and what did you think when you first saw it? Were you just strolling around Bunnings and walked past it?

    You must have had to look twice very trippy. I think it's kinda cool.

    • wasnt me.. It was my bro inlaws that went to bunning, :D

  • +4

    Not the OP's house… Mailboxes are obviously different :)

    • +1

      Did u even read properly before you comment ?

      • Obviously a troll post. Made me laugh

        • +1

          Nah if we was trolling he would say.

          Mailbox in ad photo is better LOL

        • @Gimli:

          agreed.. wasnt available when i built the house 5 years ago :D

      • The above comment reads differently if you have a sense of humor.

        • I read the statement with my sense of humour turned on and off and it reads the same.

  • -1

    Call Vultures and sue them….. no win no fee….
    You can sue anyone for just about anything these days… you will win with no doubts…
    Just say that you are no longer able to sleep and are taking heavy anti-depressants since you discovered the unthinkable act…

  • +3

    I don't know if anyone else has brought this up but are you the original owner of the house? Is it possible that perhaps they asked someone who lived there before you because the timber and stuff looks a lot older and worn now than it does in their ad. I know that this could be because of photo-shopping and such however some of the trees also look slightly different (younger perhaps?).

    • Yes, iam the owner, bought the land and built it

  • Start selling your letterbox as a kit with the same positioned photo and get Bunnings to stock it right next to the Sandlefords product. Then see what they say.

  • Perhaps sue them for breach of copyright, using your art without a license

    • thats the problem, i have no idea whats the rules are, according to some ppl here.. the property is not a copyright if someone want to copy it or take a photo, but again,,, they actually use it for commercial purposes. i guess thats against the law.. not too sure…

      • +5

        Sorry hippies, but you need to give the legal idea up.
        People are allowed to take photographs. They've taken the photo from the street - that is a public space and they own the copyright of that image, not you. It is not against the law.
        Google has streetview images of every house on the internet, they run as a profit too, its not illegal.

        Focus instead on maintaining that leaning retaining wall and repainting it, it looked better back when they took the photo!!

        It would not work in the real world if everyone had to get permission, I could take a photo of a bunch of 100 houses or apartment blocks on the skyline of a city - those are people's houses too - the law does not expect people to get permission to use an image that they took in advertising material, that would be absurd.

        This is a compliment, you have no loss here, so no damages would be payable - what on earth are you upset about!?

  • If they really wanted to go bust they would not take a photo of your mail box but you naked in the shower.

    • hahahahahahahahah,,,,,,,, u are very funny… hahahahahahahahahhahaahhahaa

  • +2

    If it were my house I'd not be looking for any recompense or apology as there's no damage here. I would be intrigued though.

    It just seems unlikely that a company that makes letterboxes would be driving around the suburbs looking for the perfect few feet of landscaped garden to Photoshop their wares onto. They'd just grab a stock photo surely?

    Could it be the builder or landscaper's image? Or Someone who has done work on the house since? You may have signed something saying they could use the images for advertising?

  • +1

    Beautiful front lawn/garden you have OP.

  • +1

    nothing you can do its a photo of something that anyone can see anytime anyway.

    But I'd be worried about your bins man, someone stole them!

  • +6

    As is the case in a lot of high profile mysteries, I think the key suspect has been right under our noses all along.

    You're looking for someone who knows about your garden, could come to your house without arousing suspicion, and likely spends a lot of time in stores like Bunnings and knows the brands that would be interested in such an image.

    Does your brother in law own a camera?

    So often criminal masterminds are caught out by their own vanity. His mistake was to highlight the image he was so proud of.

    And he would have gotten away with it if it wasn't for those meddling OzBargainers.

  • +2

    Really not sure what the point of this is.
    You would prefer that they had asked you first, and you state you would not have allowed them to use the photo for commercial purposes; but you never explain why.

    How does it impact your life?

    Most people would have seen the box in Burnings and thought "hey, that's my house…cool", and moved on with their lives.

  • +8

    I can't believe that anyone on here would encourage the OP to push this further when it is likely that they will just end up chasing their tail for nothing. OP should just let it slide and find something else to stress over..

    Lets pretend hypothetically that permission is required for this kind of thing, and it was granted to a company by the builder of the house,.. What if the house is sold and the new owner sees a photo of 'their' house on some product at a hardware shop and freaks out demanding the company requires their permission. What is that company to do, cave in to the new owner's demands ? .. This situation doesn't make sense and wouldn't work out for anyone. Common sense needs to prevail.

  • +1

    Looks like a dog preferred shale as well.

    I don't know photography laws in Australia but I know it's confusing everywhere in the world.

    I believe in most western countries you can take photos from any public place (without telephoto lenses, infrared etc) that's not expressly forbidden by the government (usually on signage) or considered a security risk. Technically, the photographer owns a photo so ironically it may have infringed copyright to post their ad without permission.

    Whilst commercial use of faces may be forbidden, I'm not too sure about property. The news, and of course A Current Affair, are notorious for revealing the properties of suspected criminals. Though if they stole your own photo of your house and manipulated it for commercial purposes you may have rights as a photographer…

  • +1

    I laughed at those 2 rocks still being in similar positions.

    But yeah I think you should email them and be like "since you like my house and with your letterboxes, how bout you send me a nice one" ha ha.

  • +1

    I do a bit of commercial photography with drones, rules for houses or buildings are basically if they charge an entry fee you must obtain permission. Everything else is fair game as long there is no people in the photo who can be easily identified. Trademarks and branding is also a no no. Just take it as a compliment, you can use it to your advantage if you ever sell the place.

  • +2

    Sorry mate, I'm on your side, and I'm not any law expert. However, I honestly don't think it's even your home. Not trying to be a dick or anything but do you expect you're the ONLY person in the world with that style of front yard?

    Anyway, like I said if it is yours I agree, it's not a good idea to do this.

  • +1

    I really want to know what happens next! Please contact the manufacturer and Bunnings and tell us what they said!

  • +1

    Perhaps you can use it as a marketing tactic if you ever put your house up for sale: "As featured in Sandleford letterbox landscaping photos in Bunnings" :)

  • +2

    OP has put in considerable effort, time and money into his landscaping, it only makes sense that they get paid if some one is using all that to drive their sales. The company just can't get away with using all that freely.

  • If you're going to take a photo without permission and publish it for advertising, at least have the common sense to mirror it.
    I think what they did is morally wrong, but you may not be able to do much. Google Streetview takes photos of everyone's house, and Google Maps isn't exactly "not for profit".

    I would probably put a positive spin on it if you contact them. Knowing you are not likely going to get rich out of suing them (and is that the kind of person you want to be, anyway?), maybe just ask them for a free letterbox. Better than a lawsuit which leaves both parties feeling bitter.

  • Bit of a shit move from the business for not asking you.

    From a legal stand point, I don't believe Australia has established any copyright laws that cover ownership of over the appearance of architectural spaces, i.e. House exteriors. It looks like the image was taken from a public place too, which is perfectly legal. Correct me if I'm wrong.

    Best you can do is either take it as a compliment or contact the company directly and give them your two cents!

  • dog and/or drunken sailor peed on your letterbox

  • +2

    According to a property lawyer (my stepfather) consent from a owner is not required for photographing a property or advertising a product using that photo.

    So take John's advice:
    "Contact them and say how you appreciate the photos being used rather than throwing some complaints" and "Maybe they will send you a free letterbox."

  • There is no law about taking photo of your house/property if there is no money being made out of the photo however this has been made into a commercial piece, if you could be bothered you could sue and win (or take a payout from said company).

    15 years commercial photographer

    • +1

      "however this has been made into a commercial piece, if you could be bothered you could sue and win (or take a payout from said company)"

      Photographs of private property is permissible if shot from public property.

      OP might receive compensation if the photograph was misleading or deceptive*, resulted in loss or harm, or the photographer trespassed. However, the photograph meets neither of those criteria thus compensation is unlikely.

      This explains how google avoids lawsuits for utilising photos of private property without consent or photojournalist can get away with taking photos of celebrity houses.

      *For example suggested the OP endorsed the advertised product.

      15 years commercial photographer
      -Stepfather has 40+ years of experience in property law.

  • Are you aware of the Barbara Streisand effect?

    Let them be.

  • +1

    I'm amazed that people are still commenting in this thread…

    But hey, if you don't try to get something out of that company you're definitely not an ozbargainer, he he.

    • hahahhahaa… Ure right… Merry xmas eperione…

  • its just a same facade- chill.

  • so any updates?

  • Any updates at all or have you gathered all the advice you needed and just did a runner?

  • +2

    Guess what just showed up in the latest issue of Australian Handyman?


    • Haha. Good memory

  • Any update hippies?