We would like to thank the local libraries, schools, and universities for recommending students to visit us when doing research on any of our information topics.
Place your TextLink AD here free
Your web site has been up for a few months and you are making money hand over foot. While surfing sites one evening, you are shocked to find a competitor using your design. You find out your designer sold them the same design. They must be breaking the law, right? It all depends on whether you own the copyright to your web site design. Many site owners are shocked to find out they do not.
What is Copyright?
Copyright is a method of protection for authors of original works such as literature, computer programs, music, artistic pieces and photographic images. The protection provided by copyright arises under Title 17 of the United States Code. A copyright gives the owner the exclusive right to do or authorize others to: reproduce, prepare derivative works, distribute copies, publicly display and generally use the material that carries the copyright in exchange for something, typically a royalty or fee. The copyright owner often grants this use through a license agreement, but can sell it outright.
Who Can Claim Copyright?
Copyright protection is created IMMEDIATELY upon the creation of a fixed form of the material in question and granted to the person that created the material. For instance, I automatically own the copyright to this article upon completing it. I am not required to file for an official copyright with the US Copyright Office to prove that I am the owner of the content. However, if I want to sue a person for using my article without permission, I must first register it.
What If I Hire Someone To Create A Web Site For Me?
If you hire a person or company to handle the design of your site, the complexities of copyright become a major issue for you. Specifically, the issue of "work for hire" is critical in determining whether you own the design.
"Work for hire" refers to the relationhip between your business and the person creating your web site. If this person is an employee of your business and creates the material within their scope of employment, then your business owns the copyright. However, what happens when the designer is not an employee? In such a situation, the following must occur for the copyright to automatically transfer to you. The work must be specially ordered or commissioned for use as:
It is my opinion that the design of a web site does not fall into any of the above categories. As a result, you do not own the copyright to the design and can do nothing about the fact that one of your competitors is using the design. Obviously, this is not the answer that most site owners want to hear. So, what can you do to protect your business?
When you hire an outside party to design, alter, amend or improve your site, you must have them sign a written contract. The contract must include a clause clearly establishing that the copyright to the material produced is vested with you, not the designer. You should then file the contract with your important documents as some designers "forget" that assigned the copyright to you. Presenting a copy of the contract and noting that it allows for the recovery of attorney's fees usually solves the problem.
The issue of copyright ownership of a web site or aspect of a site pops up often. Finding your design being used on another domain is bad enough, but it can get worse. If you sell your business, the attorney for the party purchasing your business will always ask about the copyright of the site as part of the due diligence process. More than a few business deals have fallen apart when the lack of copyright ownership is discovered. Obtaining copyright at the outset of your business effort will avoid serious problems in the future.
About The Author
Richard Chapo, Esq., is with http://www.sandiegobusinesslawfirm.com offering business law advice to California businesses. This article is for general education purposes and does not address every facet of the subject matter. Nothing in this article creates an attorney-client relationhip.
RELATED WEB SITE DESIGN ARTICLES:
5 Powerful Ways To Get Zero Sales From Your Website
I want you to imagine a lemon. In your mind's eye, see its yellow skin.
Create A Web Site That Builds Trust
If someone doesn't know you personally, will they trust you enough to do business with you just by visiting your web site?Most people view organization - and web sites - they don't know with great skepticism. Given all the identity theft and viruses running around, people are understandably cautious and somewhat skeptical when they go to a new web site.
6 Reason Why Using Flash is a BIG Mistake
Most web designers and web design companies will try to convince you that if you want your business to have the best site possible that you MUST have a flash site. Flash, for those of you who are newbies, is a software program that can create really cool special effects and animation.
Be Friendly to Search Engines
The object of search engines is to give their visitors a list of web pages relevant to the search words, in the order of relevance to the search words. So what do they want from websites? Relevance to a search: The frequency of the search word on a web page is an indicator of its relevance.
Creating Personal Web Sites (Part 2)
This is the second part of a two-part article about creating a web site on the Internet and the tools that you will need to do it.Some basic terminology that you should take a look at before proceeding further:Web Page: A document that contains information created with the help of HTML.
Digitalize It! : (Modification of images with tools such as Adobe CS and Corel)
Then it was a choice among crayon, paints and palettes for an artist and designer to create art. It was a box of crayon that make one happy designer during his early years of formation.
Its No Good Having A Killer Product If You Don't Have A Killer Website
Read the title of this article over a couple of times in your head so it really starts to sink in. So what does this title really mean.
When You Create A Web Site, Don't Make A Splash!
Don't make a splash! Are you thinking about using a splash page when you create a web site? You would be wise to think again. What is a splash page? Generally, it is a fancy entrance graphic which requires your visitor to click in order to enter the main home page of your web site.
Basic Graphic Design
Wether you design your business brochures, flyers, web page, or ads there are some things that you need to know. There are some basic graphic design principles that those of us trained in the commercial art/graphic design field don't always share.
Do You Really Need A Website?
Nope. You certainly don't need a website.
Cheap Web Design
If you think it's simply a case of who will do it for the best price, think again.As with many things we buy there are several important factors to take into account.
How Important is Content to a Successful Website
Content is the most important part of any website.The Internet was created in the first place as an information source.
Colorblind People, Can They Really Read Your Web Site?
I once created a notepad-like editor. It is possible with this editor to write Russian text on a western Windows without using a Cyrillic keyboard in front of your computer.
Website Creativity: Why It Matters Now More than Ever
If one more business owner tells me their website sucks because they're just "too darn busy to deal with it", I'm going to hurl. That's like saying, "I'm doing business in my dirty underwear because I'm too busy to get dressed.
Do-It-Yourself Web Design for Home-Based Businesses
Home-based businesses need a strong web presence to combat the inflated advertising and marketing budgets of their larger competitors, but establishing that presence through a professionally designed and developed web site may not be an affordable option. In many cases, the only cost-effective way to get the web site you want for your business is to do it yourself.
Leave Those Links Blue!
Don't mess with those links! When you're designing your site, you should leave your text links in their natural state--blue and underlined. We all want to be creative and not do the bland, expected, normal thing.
How To Give Your Business Credibility
Let's face it. Buying products and services from the Internet can be a bit intimidating.
Designing Beautiful Artist Websites - 12 Tips To Showcase Your Art
1. Who needs an artists website?Not everyone! If you are currently exhibiting in multiple high-end galleries and making a handsome income, a website may not be for you.
A Crash Course on Graphic Philosophy 101
Novice and professional graphic designers, we are aware that you know the basic principles of graphic philosophy. But then, as workers of art - though digital and graphic art already borders in commercial arts, there's no harm in continuously improving our craft through contant study and practice, is there? Really great graphic designers I know have come to their status because of painstaking application and study of their past works.
Effective Web Design Usability Principles
Website Design Usability Tips1. Getting to know about audience members. You want a site that has personality and quality content based on your audience taste.
Click here to
Find used office equipment in Ohio at www.OfficeJax.Has.It
Find the best fleamarkets at www.FleaMarketWorld.Has.It
Find electric powered vehicles at www.NoGas.Drives.It
Find advertising supplies below wholesale in Akron, Ohio
Akron University of Akron university housing available
Text Link Ads
auction news and listings for Akron, Ohio
Akron crafts and hobby news center
Advertising and promotion Akron, Ohio
The Akron blogging news center
Akron Ohio web site design news
Akron Mortgaging and refinancing