It is incredible how naive otherwise practical company people can be when it comes to commissioning a designer to develop a website for them. Whether it is an absence of knowledge or easy forgetfulness lots of organisations overlook procedures like having a website development agreement. This lax approach can have major effects.
While it might be unwise to search every contract that you discover in company, not to mention get legal recommendations on them all, some agreements are simply too important to ignore. A website is one of them, and a lot more so if it is for an e-commerce website.
Protecting rights in your website
Businesses that don’t secure rights in their own name can run into problems if they want to engage another person to keep or revamp or host their website. Even worse still many a company participates in sale settlements just to discover that they do not have the rights in their own site, and can’t sell it.
Yet the site can be the most crucial possession an internet service owns. Protecting the needed rights from the web designer at that phase could prove pricey.
So before engaging the services of a web designer, every company should think about the legal position. The only exception is if the organisation is utilizing its own workers to do the task of developing the site.
What to look out for
Many designers will have their own terms which, obviously, will be biased in their favour. Have a look at their conditions so you can choose whether you desire to continue talking with them. Here are some of the concerns you must be enjoying out for:
o Under the basic law if there is no composed agreement, the site designer will be the owner of the copyright in your site. However, you are totally free to offer otherwise in your agreement commissioning the work.
o Ideally you need to attempt to get copyright in everything consisting of any underlying software. Nevertheless, there are really genuine reasons the web developer might be unwilling to provide you copyright in whatever. If they more than happy to do so then ensure the contract has a stipulation accepting designate the copyright and other copyright in the website and its contents to you.
o The reason the website designer will be unlikely to consent to this, is that they will wish to be totally free to reuse the code, or there may be 3rd party software application utilized which they are not in a position to designate to you. Because case ensure the developer grants you an irreversible non-exclusive around the world license to use any copyright rights that they will not be designating to you.
o If at all possible ask for a guarantee to the effect that all the intellectual property in the website is the designer’s own work and has not been copied. This ought to be supported with an indemnity in case the rights of 3rd parties are breached by the site through no fault of yours and you are sued. It is essential that this indemnity reaches other copyright components that the web designer is supplying, such as copyrighting services, pictures and any video or other features.
o On the other hand if you are supplying material like photos don’t be shocked if you need to give a similar guarantee and indemnity to the designer.
o Most disagreements develop because of incorrect expectations. It is too simple to assume the web developer understands what you imply. So, ensure there is a specification setting out what you expect to get and by when.
o Another apparent cause of conflict includes payment. What will the quote or quote cover and what further charges might you be asked to pay? It is all too easy when you don’t comprehend the level of the work involved in any requests you make for extra bits and pieces, to get a shock when you discover how much it is going to cost you. Excellent practice is to ask the developer to indicate beforehand whatever that will draw in an extra charge so you can pick not to go ahead if it will be too pricey. Another excellent idea is to pay in stages and just as soon as you sign off each phase.
Having managed to find a reputable designer the next step is to sort out the hosting, assistance and maintenance contract for your website, which will be the subject of a different article.
Thinking about the contract terms BEFORE formally commissioning the designer is important. Under the law a contract enters into being when the 3 Ps are understood – that is the celebrations, the cost and the job. So, companies must make sure to discuss the terms at the beginning so the web designer understands they are not officially being engaged to do the work till terms have been sorted out. What is not so popular by the public is that it is not essential to sign a contract to be subject to it.
What is surprising is that some businesses will ask their web designers to sign up domain names for them. Plainly, they are uninformed of possible problems. Domain names are based in agreement, so the user of the name ought to be the owner in whose name the domain is held.
If the web designer runs to France and takes control of the site, there would be real difficulties for business whose domain was owned by that designer. By signing up the domain in the organisation owner’s own name the owner would remain in a position to take any needed legal and other steps in relation to its own website domain.