Website design and copyright


Have a term written into the contract which specifically assigns copyright to you and gives you the right to the source code.

Author: Nona Bowkis
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This article is 6 years old.

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For anyone considering getting a new or revamped website, you must consider issues of copyright and access to the website’s source code before signing any contract with a designer.

If you fail to do this, the design will be owned by your chosen designer (unless they are an employee) in their role as its creator and this could cause all sort of problems further down the line.

To avoid being in a position whereby you wrongly think you own your website as you paid for it to be designed, have a term written into the contract which specifically assigns copyright to you and gives you the right to the source code. This way you will have control over the website and not be in a position where you can be essentially held to ransom by a designer when you want to move or update the website.

Without an explicit contract assigning copyright to you, the best you will have is an implied licence to use the design and so in the case of a fall out with the designer, you may just have to start all over. 

Nona Bowkis

Legal Advisor

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