How To Protect Your Company’s Website

The websites of companies can be an excellent tool to promote e-commerce and encourage sales. However, as this types of commerce increases,

┬áthe higher the risk that others will copy the appearance and operation of your company’s website, some of its elements or its content.

It also increases the likelihood that companies are accused of unauthorized use of intellectual property assets of third parties.

This article examines some of the fundamental issues that should be considered before creating a website.

It is necessary to take some precautionary measures to protect the site from abusive uses, for example:
Protect IP rights: If from the start your company does not develop adequate strategies to protect your IP assets, you run the risk of losing all rights over them. Therefore, you must:
Register a domain name that is easy to use and is representative of your brand or trade name, or the nature of your company. If the domain name can also be registered as a trademark, it will be convenient to do so, since in this way your company will be able to assert its rights more effectively against those who try to use the name to market similar products and services, and will prevent others from registering the same name as brand;Consider the possibility of patenting commercial methods That can be used on the Internet in countries where this type of protection is contemplated; Register your website and the elements protected by copyright in the copyright offices of the countries where this option is foreseen Take precautions regarding the disclosure of your business secrets. Make sure that all those who have confidential information (for example, employees, contractors of maintenance companies, companies that deal with the central system, Internet service providers) sign a confidentiality agreement.
Another possibility is to use watermarks that incorporate information about copyright in the digital content itself. For example, a watermark can be created in a music file using some music fragments to encode specific information related to ownership. The digital watermark can be clearly displayed, such as the copyright notices that appear on the margin of the photographs; It can also be incorporated into the document, just like printed documents on paper, or be included so that it cannot usually be detected and can only be extracted knowing how and where to look for it. The visible watermarks are suitable as a deterrent; the invisible facilitate the tracking of works on the Internet and serve as proof in case of theft.

Let The Public Know What Use You Can Make Of The Content

consider including a warning on each page of the website explaining the position of your company regarding the use of the site. In this way, users will know at least what uses are allowed (for example, if they can create links to the site, download and print material from the site and under what conditions), and who to contact to obtain the corresponding authorization.

Control Access To The Content Of Your Company’s Website, As Well As Its Use: technological protection measures six may be used that limit access to the works published on your company’s website only to users who accept specific conditions for use them or have paid for it. The techniques listed below are usually used:

If your company hires a person to create your website, who is the owner of the copyright?

If your company’s website has been created by your employees in the course of their duties, in most countries, you (the employer) will own the copyright on the site, unless you have agreed otherwise with your employees. Things change when it comes to small businesses.

Most companies commission the creation of the design or content of their website to external contractors and assume that they are the holders of the IP rights existing on the site for having paid for the completion of the work. However, it is possible that this is not the case, and that your company takes more than one surprise in that regard. In general, independent contractors (as opposed to company employees) hold IP rights over the works they create, even if their company has paid for them unless otherwise provided in a written contract.

What this means in practice is that the independent creator of websites is usually the owner of the copyright and other IP rights over the created site, as well as the design and elements that are part of the latter (for example, the colors, the graphics files of “gif” and “jpeg” format, the configuration, the hyperlinks and the text coding). If a valid written agreement is not established in which those rights are assigned, it is possible that your company ends up enjoying only a non-exclusive license to use your website.