A visually appealing website is the first and foremost requirement of startups to compete in today’s highly competitive market. No wonder, most startups aim to source a creatively inspiring and highly functional website. However, smooth functioning of a startup business becomes increasingly difficult if its website and its design get entangled in legal issues. BITLAW, a legal disclaimer website, clearly states that besides a website being spectacular and fully functional, its design must conform to the website legal standards.
Quite often, site administrators are faced with many serious legal issues as they lack awareness about legal aspects of design. They never know when they’ll be served a legal notice from someone unknown. So, keeping website and designs clean of every possible legal trap is highly essential for businesses, especially startups.
Crucial legal issues faced by website owners that include copyright infringements, trademark concerns, domain name concerns, linking and framing defamation should therefore be handled very carefully. So, startups that do not adhere to the legalities of their website creation may end up wasting their time, money and energy on dealing with legal challenges rather than focusing on the core growth of their business.
Let’s now explore some important elements that will prompt startups to focus on development of websites that are almost free of the legal issues.
1. You are to be Held Responsible
Do you know that as a website owner, you will personally be answerable before a court of law if any legal issues crop up in your website? However, if you can show documents that prove that someone else’s involvement is there then you might escape from your accountability. BITLAW says that the lawsuit is generally filed on the person who is found involved in the illegal creation of website design. And since email service is not allowed for the court cases, the lawsuits require you to be present in the court in person. This is a norm followed in the United States and a majority of other Western countries means you’ll have to personally deal with the legal problems pertaining to your website design.
For lawsuit norms and of Asian countries and other regions, you can check their websites.
2. Why is it Important to Ensure that Every Tiny Part of Design is Legal?
Very often, startup website owners or designers think that since they have acquired legal rights for a major portion of design they need not legally obtain rights for each and every part of that design. And this is where they can easily fall in the trap!
Code, therefore emphasizes that every small part of your design must be legal. You need to ensure that color, typeface, size and design elements of your image or picture are individually owned by you as copyrighted parts of the image. Remember, today’s advance identification technology easily catches illegal additions being done to a design. The access of many software tools within the reach of most of the people has made the task even easier.
So, the best way would be obtain the copyrights of every picture or image you wish to use as part of your website design. Rather, make sure that you possess the rights for all the images you wish to incorporate in your website. The designers too must possess the rights of every tiny bit and piece of design they plan to include in their design. In addition, you also need to ensure that you have rights to do modifications to a copyrighted image, if you plan for it.
Remember that owning the rights of commercial use of any image does not qualify you to modify that image without seeking approval from the owner. In addition, you should also keep the receipt and the terms and conditions of use safe with you long after you purchase rights for an image or design pattern. This will save you from most of the copyright issues that might creep up in the future.
For instance, if you plan to invest on designing a website from a website design agency, do well to check with them about the kind of authorization they have for the website design. You can check for additional licenses as well to ensure better protection of your website and logo and save you from forthcoming problems. And if you are a designer, you need to be doubly sure of copyright protection of each and every design component you are going to incorporate in your design. This will allow you to better control your designed or purchased images and you won’t land up dealing with infringement issues when you are about to sell your logo or a graphic design!
3. Try to Do Away with Trademark Images
You need to be very cautious while considering an image or a picture that closely resembles any trademark image. Corbin Ball says that use of images that are closely patterned after trademark images can go against the intellectual property laws.
It is, therefore, advisable to completely avoid trademark images especially if you do not have the permission to use them. Remember, even a tiny part of the trademark design used in your website without the owner’s permission can invoke complains and make you guilty of violation acts.
With these handy and simple to integrate tips, startups and small businesses can easily do away with copyright and infringement issues.