Web development

Protecting site copyrights: 5 popular questions

Not so long ago, we talked about how to create a website and not violate anyone’s copyright. And now, together with our partner on legal issues in the field of intellectual property – IP Law Patent Office – we will answer the most pressing questions about how to protect your site from theft and claims from other people.

How to secure the rights to the site and its content?

Any website is a composite product of someone’s intellectual activity (clause 2 of article 1260 of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation). You can transfer rights to this product at no cost or for money. If you have entered into an agreement for the development of a website with a web studio, then in its conditions there is probably a clause that after payment all rights to the website are transferred to you. Despite the fact that the author of the site is not you, the developers will not be able to demand the developed product back if the corresponding condition is specified in the contract.

To secure the rights to the site and its content, you need to do the following:

  1. Purchase exclusive rights to all its constituent elements from the site developers: source code, content (if the site is not filled by you), including texts and any images. This can be done under any contract (work contract, author’s order), which will include a section on the full transfer of rights to the site, including its source code.
  2. If the site was developed by a web studio, make sure that all elements of the site are subject to the service works mode – the contract must contain the studio’s guarantee that it has all the authority to transfer full rights to the site to the customer. This means that the staff of the web studio will not declare their authorship in relation to the elements of your site, for example: source code, layout and design, content.
  3. In case of dispute, keep evidence that the site was developed according to your order and that you have fulfilled all payment and other obligations to the contractor.

It will be useful in advance:

  • conduct a notarial examination of the site;
  • to fix authorship on the site by means of depositing – loading all its pages for storage into a virtual cell of the IPChain distributed data register;
  • register scripts and database.

Photos, videos, content, pictures, design, text, articles, corporate identity are all examples of copyright objects.

Competitors can take over your idea or content, but this can be avoided by using the escrow procedure. With its help, you, as a copyright holder, will be able to prove that you created content at a certain moment, in a certain form, and the author is a specific person. But we must not forget that in the event of a dispute and the need to go to court, one deposit to prove authorship may not be enough. We recommend that you keep all initial and intermediate results, record the dates of their receipt. For example, if the site was developed by a web studio, then the contract should indicate where the source code is stored and when you were granted the right to it.

What if content from my site is used on other sites?

First of all, contact the thieves and ask them to remove the stolen content from the site, be sure to attach confirmation that the texts, images or other content belongs to you. Warn about possible penalties under the law.

If the offender does not respond or refuses to remove content that does not belong to him 24 hours after contacting his hosting provider. Usually, after receiving confirmations, hosters meet halfway with copyright holders and can block the violator’s site.

As a last resort, go to court. But this is quite radical, because despite the fact that truth and law are on your side, you will have to spend a lot of time, money and effort. We advise first of all to make life more difficult for the thieves and from the very beginning to protect the content so that it would be problematic to steal it.

Ways to protect content on the site

  • Script with prohibition of copying text – prohibits the selection of a text block or part of it.
  • Scripts with the prohibition of copying media files – replaces with empty images.
  • Hidden links in texts.
  • Watermarks on images.

What if my site was copied?

If you find that parts of your program’s source code are being used on a competitor’s site (or other site), you can prosecute that competitor. In this situation, it is best if:

  • You have an agreement with the developer of the site, to which the source code is attached, and there is also an act of acceptance and transfer of the code and the source code itself in a safe place (for example, in a cloud storage or in a digital depository).
  • Your computer program is registered with Rospatent. The program (the entire text of the code) is registered practically as a literary work. In the future, the materials of Rospatent may indicate that it was you who deposited this code earlier than another person.
  • You have conducted an examination of the source codes of your site and the site of a competitor, according to the results of which the expert estimated the amount of common source code and indicated the places of explicit direct borrowing. The results of the examination will make it possible to prove to the court that there was a direct borrowing of parts of the code or the entire code as a whole.


What if a competitor has registered a domain that is similar to mine?

If you have a registered trademark, then on the basis of the certificate for the trademark and clause 4.2.2 of the Regulation “On procedures to be applied in case of disputes about domain names”, you can claim the rights to a similar domain.

When an entrepreneur has a trademark registered with Rospatent, then in the whole country no one except him has the right to conduct business under the same designation, that is, to produce similar goods and provide similar services under the same or a similar name (Article 1484 of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation ). To determine the similarity of designations, you can use the services of lawyers or check for yourself in which classes of the ICGT a similar name (trademark) is registered. In the event of a violation of exclusive rights, a claim should be sent to the violator, and after 30 days from the date of its submission, the copyright holder has the right to go to court and demand both the termination of the use of a name similar to the trademark and compensation for such illegal use in the amount of 10,000 to 5 000 000 rubles.

IP Law Patent Bureau LLC has a free service of checking the designation for protectability, in which the client receives a preliminary expert opinion from a lawyer with all the necessary recommendations.

Why Copyright on the site?

It will not be superfluous to install the Copyright sign on the site. Article 1271 of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation reads: “For notification of the exclusive right to a work, the copyright holder has the right to use the copyright protection mark, which is placed on each copy of the work and consists of the following elements: the Latin letter“ C ”in a circle; name or title of the copyright holder; year of the first publication of the work ”.

The presence of the mark on the site does not create additional rights for the owner, however, just as its absence does not deprive the owner of these rights. However, copyright signals to all visitors that you consider yourself the owner of the content and site and declare this.

Registration rules Copyright in accordance with GOST R 7.0.1 – 2003

  • Symbol © in the form of Latin C, enclosed in a circle;
  • Name of a legal entity or surname and initials of an individual;
  • Year of primary publication without “g.” or a date range if the information was updated at different times.

We – WebCanape will help you develop and fill the site according to the law. And our partners, the IP Law Patent Office, will help you protect your rights on the Internet. If you already have a website, leave a request for its “roasting”. In 30-40 minutes we will go through the pages and tell you what to fix and add so that there are no problems with the law, promotion and clients.

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