You can be liable for the content on your website if you use materials that rightfully belong to others. In simple terms, you can be liable for either copyright or trademark infringement for the content you put on your website. Most liability for infringement is from copyright infringement. So, the bulk of this post will focus on copyright infringement as it relates to your website content.
Copyright infringement is a real and serious matter you need to be aware of if you’re going to conduct commerce over the Internet. The importance of avoiding claims of infringement cannot be understated. The economic ramifications resulting in any unauthorized use of another’s intellectual property could put you out of business. In some instances, you can even be liable for criminal copyright infringement and wind up facing jail time! In order to provide the best possible assurances beforehand then, you should understand what constitutes […]
Ownership Of Creative Works
All startups and existing businesses must understand one basic legal principle when it comes to logos and other creative works: If you are not the actual creator of a creative work, then the only way that you can acquire exclusive rights to the work is by having a signed and legally sufficient writing transferring some or all of those rights exclusively to you or your business! This means you should always secure all of the exclusive rights to any works you have someone else create for your business by either using a written work for hire agreement, or by obtaining a written assignment exclusively transferring all rights of ownership you.
The full bundle of rights to any logos, illustrations, web site graphics, website templates, creative banners and other works belong to the creator. Without a valid, comprehensive written and signed agreement transferring all or certain rights, the full bundle of rights […]
Imagine one day, after you have successfully launched your Internet business, you sit down to surf the web and do a little research on your competitors. Suddenly, you discover a website that is in direct competition with your business and the site looks similar to the “customized” website you paid hundreds of dollars to have created. Now you’re pretty angry and your first instinct is to pick up the phone and threaten the website operators with legal action. But, hold on, you or your business may not actually “own” the copyrights to your website or separate site elements!
Who Owns My Website Under Copyright Laws?
Even though you may own the domain name or content on your website, the ownership rights to the website design and separate website elements may reside with the creator. If that is the case, you are merely left with an implied, non-exclusive license to use your […]