Definition – property that results from original creative thought, such as patents, copyright material, and trademarks.
Ownership of your Website
Never assume, just because you pay an invoice to a 3rd party supplier, such as a photographer or website developer that you will have rights over the images or your online presence. You MUST check their terms and conditions of sale and ask the questions:
“Will I own this website if I choose to move away from you as a supplier. Does this ownership include the content management system?"
Accordingly, you should agree in advance that the copyright in anything created by the contractor for you will be owned by you, so that you are able to do what you want with it. You might have paid someone to produce pictures for a brochure – if you are granted a licence to use the pictures in the brochure, this does not necessarily mean that you can use the pictures on your website. Make sure you check in advance.
If your employees are creating your website then, in the absence of any agreement to the contrary, copyright automatically vests in you as the employer. This is not the case if you are commissioning contractors (e.g. external web developers) to create your website. This is a common misunderstanding. In the absence of an agreement, the contractor will own the copyright in whatever he creates. Therefore, if you decide to move to another developer, this can mean that you will have to start from scratch with your website, as you will be unable to take the structure or Content Management System with you.
Without this basic knowledge, you could very well find yourself on the wrong and/or losing end of a legal battle that you could very well avoid.