Re: Web site vs. Web designer

From: Michael Leventhal <wiredlaw[_at_]>
Date: Tue, 10 Sep 1996 10:39:33 -0700 (MST)

> At 5:27 PM 9/5/96 -0500, Duncan McKeever wrote:
>> !! No work-for-hire agreement was signed prior to the creation of the
>> work. However, the original agreement did involve the commissioning of
>> the Web site designer to create specific elements for use in conjunction
>> with the HTML presentation and content already on the site.
>> Question: Due to the fact that no work-for-hire agreement was signed
>> *before* the work was completed, is it possible for the designer to
>> grant and the Web site owner to acquire full copyright ownership of the
>> work completed?

And John Noble wrote:
> Sure, by assignment of the copyright. "Designer hereby assigns to Webster
> all right, title and interest, including but not limited to copyright, in
> the following described work: ....

However, assignment of copyright is not ultimately as beneficial to web site owner, in that a Work For Hire is owned by the owner for the life of the copyright, while a grant from the author may, in some circumstances, be terminated in thirty-five to forty years. Of course, in Web years, that's a couple of millenia, but I always ask my clients to think of a movie made in 1960 that they might want to have a piece of today . . .

>> NOTE: This post attempts to list the facts pertinent to the central
>> question stated. The post does not list all of the facts regarding the
>> situation nor does it contain all of my claims against the Web site
>> designer.
> And this response addresses only the obvious legal issues presented by
> the limited facts recited, and should not be relied on as a complete or
> sufficient legal analysis.
> John Noble
> <jnoble[_at_]>


Michael Leventhal
wiredlaw[_at_] Received on Tue Sep 10 1996 - 17:47:48 GMT

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