If we look at the 9 points from the previous article, we know what it takes to be a reliable web design company:-
- Good word-of-mouth
- Have well-known clients and previous works as reference
- Clearly stated items and prices
- Drafts are available when discussing with clients
- Customer services such as regular progress reports and customer training/support
- Clearly stated system language and system requirements
Protect your Internet properties
A good website takes so much to be built, including efforts, time and money. One day when you find that someone is plagiarizing your site, legal actions must be taken. Legal actions are all about evidences, so in the course of building a site, you must note the following to prove that you’re the owner of the site.
Agreements to be made before outsourcing web design
When the whole design progress is done by one person, the issue of copyright ownership will be simple – the maker of the site directly owns the copyright of his work. When a site is built by an employee of a company during the course of employment, his/her employer owns the copyright of the site.
There are cases when the webmaster requested an outsourcing web design company to make a website. Even though the webmaster can use the website built by the web designer as an exclusive user, the copyright of the website still belongs to the web deisgn company. That means if the webmaster wants the copyright, he/she must reach an agreement with the web design company that states the ownership of copyright belongs to the webmaster.
Get written approval prior to using others’ works
There are hardly any text-only sites nowadays, most sites contain texts, songs, sound effects, images and animations. In the course of making this kind of multimedia sites, when you need to use others’ works, you must get a written approval from the author beforehand – an agreement from the photographer if you use his/her photos, and one from the author if you use (a part of ) his/her works. Sources must be clearly and fully stated for every work done by others.
Copyright declaration on every page
Each page of the website should have copyright declarations clearly stated. A basic copyright declaration includes a copyright sign “©”, the owner of the site and the date of production. A declaration must be stated on every page and is easy to identify and read. It should be noted that copyright declarations are, of course, valid only for the owner of copyrights. When the contents of the site are plagiarized, any sort of copyright declaration will be meaningless.
What to do when someone plagiarized your site
The webmaster could send a warning letter to the plagiarist ordering the immediate halt of plagiarism. In accordance to the effects brought by plagiarism, webmaster has the right to demand the plagiarist for compensation and sign a letter guaranteeing that he/she will not copy from the webmaster’s site again. These are the means to ease the dispute. In case the plagiarist ignored the warnings, the webmaster can file a civil litigation through a lawyer to sue the plagiarist. The webmaster can also try to apply an injunction from the law court to stop plagiarism.
Keep copies in the course of creation
As it is extremely easy to duplicate data from a computer, sometimes distinguishing the original author and the plagiarist could be difficult. To safeguard the copyright of the author, the best way is to keep copies everything – the idea, motivations & progress of web design. These can be used to prove that you’re the original author when there is a dispute.