Sort of legal … but interesting

A friend of mine sent me this link from, a law blog.  The Indiana Supreme Court ruled on a case that involved several issues designers, developers and clients encounter daily — and it raises some important questions about copyright and “work for hire.” Quote from Volokh …

Is a custom-designed and designer-hosted Web site a good or a service? Who owns the site? Can the deletion of the site by the host (for nonpayment of the bills) constitute tortious conversion of the supposed owner’s property? Not the sexy sort of cyberlaw, just the practically important sort.

In the case of Conwell v. Gray Loon, it’s a case of both parties making some key, easily avoidable mistakes. Define the project and use good documentation; from the initial proposal, to change orders, to an ongoing maintenance agreement, if necessary. Things do get “lost in the sauce” occassionaly, but having a set process with solid documents or contracts is good for BOTH the client and the agency or individual.

Here’s a pdf of the full decision.


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