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EDITOR’S VIEWPOINT: The borrowers

EDITOR’S VIEWPOINT: The borrowers

Last weekend, a (sadly) familiar and unscrupulous practice reared its ugly head once again on social media… that of an installer passing off pictures of someone else’s work as their own. In a wider context, this may not seem like a terrible crime but the reality of the situation is that it could have far-reaching consequences when it comes to safety.

As a customer looking for an installer, I would certainly be swayed by some of the outstanding work (in terms of both quality and aesthetics) that I’ve seen on social platforms. The most recent victim, Tony Dumble, produces installations that are frankly worthy of inclusion in any art gallery – check out his Instagram account and you’ll see what I mean. For somebody to attempt to claim his (or anybody’s) work as theirs is wilful deception and an affront to all the installers who have spent years honing their craft. In this case it’s also remarkably ill-judged, given that it’s instantly recognisable to most of the industry’s social media community.

However, a member of the public is highly unlikely to know this and it seems to me that any work secured as a result is obtained fraudulently. There is notionally protection under the law for the party whose pictures have been appropriated (to go along with the inevitable public naming and shaming of the offender on social media) but customers may already be at risk. Essentially, you’re contracting somebody with absolutely no indication of their abilities. And after all, who would knowingly employ an installer who’s apparently so ashamed/embarrassed of the quality of their own work that they feel the need to pretend someone else’s talent is their own?

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