Who Owns Website

Discussion in 'Web Hosting and Domain Names' started by DomainClaimer, Jan 26, 2006.

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  1. DomainClaimer

    DomainClaimer New Member

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    30
    If I purchase a domain name and hosting package and then build a website for a customer, who owns the rights to the domain name and website? Should the name be part of the package when the site is built and if its not after the site is built who is the owner of the website. This Has not been a problem until one customers wanted to take control of the site, which we purchase in bulk with other hosting packages so we can't turn the site over to them, and they don't own the domain name, should we offer to sell the site to them or since it was built for them just give it to them.:confused:
     
  2. BaldEagle

    BaldEagle New Member

    Messages:
    38
    Do you use contracts? If you do I would think all that would have to be disclosed up front, otherwise I feel that you (or me when I provide services) are acting as an agent for the client. When I'm done it is theirs. They generally retain me for maintenance purposes. As for domain names this is one I have a big problem with myself. I have been told that one really doesn't own it that it is being rented so to speak. I am not certain this is correct but if it is true I don't like it much. I give my clients everything, source code, reformatted images, everything if they want it. It may be that your situation is a little different in that you purchase the site from someone else and perhaps that means you don't control the source code. Also, if this is an isolated request perhaps you could just let this one go. Not sure what the real legalities of this are.

    BaldEagle
     
  3. ian

    ian Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    2,153
    If they paid you for the domain name and the hosting, then it only seems fair that they should retain the rights for the domain name and web hosting. Does not appear to be enough details provided to be able to comment on this with confidence.
     
  4. DomainClaimer

    DomainClaimer New Member

    Messages:
    30
    They paid us for our services to get them a domain name and hosting plan and then build a web site for them, I don't know at what point they become the owners of the domain name or website, we keep track of renewal dates and fees and can do any updates they may want done after the site is built for update fees. If they wanted to do it then there is no reason to hire someone to do it for them. We purchase hosting plans in bulk so giving anyone but us passwords would let them have access to more than just their account. We are new to this so any information that would help us would be great, we don't want to own the websites but really doesn't the customer own the content of the website and as long as we are doing the work and maintaining the domain name and hosting plan, does that part of it belong to us? I don't know just thought someone else might have a idea.
     
  5. BaldEagle

    BaldEagle New Member

    Messages:
    38
    That is kind of a tricky one. I am certainly not a legal authority by any means but I would defer back to my original post in that all this should be explained up front in some sort of contract. I should think that the client should understand that the content on the site is theirs but all else is under your control. Whether or not this could be challenged in court I have no idea, but the contract divulging all provisions pertaining to both parties seems like a good place to start. (I won't testify in court though).

    BaldEagle
     
  6. StephanieCordray

    StephanieCordray New Member

    Messages:
    1,017
    This is where contracts are very handy. Ethically, the domain name, website, and so on should be theirs if they discontinue with your services. You charge them maintenance fees to do further work on the site so I'm not sure where the problem lies. There may not be a formal contract but there is an agreement of some sort and they have paid for the work. Legally, you may not be required to do so but in the long run, not doing could hurt you and your reputation more than letting them have it now.

    I would, however charge them a transfer fee to transfer the domain name to the service of their choice... *grin*. Or you could unlock the domain and allow them to set up the transfer through their service themselves thereby keeping your expenses of transfer at $0.

    As for the website make a back up of the entire site, as is, and send it to them since you can't give them access without compromising other sites you handle.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2006
  7. ian

    ian Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    2,153
    Always do the fair and ethical thing and you cant go wrong. You should have a reseller account in which you can give them access to their own personal account without compromising the other domains/websites on your multiple reseller account.
     

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