You want to develop and launch a new website.
This involves thinking about several points in terms of intellectual property, in order to avoid the pitfalls.
Let’s go over a few of these pitfalls.
1st trap: the intellectual property of the website you order
If you hire a web developer or an agency for this development, you must not forget to settle the question of intellectual property with this developer or this agency. It is fundamental to address and resolve this issue, because if nothing has been expressly provided for, the website (which you have paid for) will remain the property of the developer or the agency.
I add that this issue must be resolved BEFORE signing a quote or contract with the developer or agency. Otherwise, there will be uncertainty and legal insecurity (the negotiating force is not the same a posteriori).
Another related question that is important: make sure to contract out access to the website code (access issue), especially if it is the developer or the agency that manages the hosting of the website, databases, etc.
2nd trap: the name of the website and the domain name
To launch your new website, you will have to choose a name for it and even a domain name.
Here we must be vigilant with regard to the names of third parties. Indeed, the name you choose should not fall, for example, under the brand of a third party; otherwise you risk, among other things, an action for infringement and / or being accused of “cybersquatting”. About cybersquatting, see my article ‘ my domain name was stolen: when can we talk about cybersquatting? ‘.
To avoid such a scenario (counterfeiting, cybersquatting, etc.) – which, in addition to any damages, may ultimately lead you to have to abandon the name initially chosen (loss of time, loss of money, need to start over branding, need to justify yourself to your target audience, etc.) – it can be useful to search for availability. At a minimum, you can start by yourself by doing research on the name you have in mind in Google, on Facebook, at the Banquet-Carrefour des Enterprises, etc. If you work with an agency, also check with them to see if they conduct availability research.
Another issue related to the name of a site and / or its domain name is its “generic” or “descriptive” character. It may be tempting, at first glance, to choose such a generic or descriptive name (egg “plumber Brussels” + domain name extension), in particular for SEO reasons. But this is, in general, a miscalculation in relation to branding and intellectual property. Indeed, if you register a generic or descriptive domain name, you will have very little chance of being able to oppose the registration of a similar generic domain name (or even identical, with another extension). Why? Because in principle to be able to protect a name, it is necessary that this name be distinctive (i.e. that it makes it possible to distinguish one company from another). Gold, if you use “plumber Brussels”, this describes your services and your geographic location; but that does not distinguish you from other companies or operators (you are not the only plumber in Brussels…). Such generic or descriptive names (i.e. which describe the nature of the products or services offered) do not allow any protection against third parties. In my opinion, it is therefore necessary to avoid such generic or descriptive names as much as possible. Conversely, we must try to build a strong “trademark management software” (in the branding sense) that is distinctive. In addition, beware the best protection for a name is to file such generic or descriptive names (i.e. which describe the nature of the products or services offered) do not allow any protection against third parties. In my opinion, it is therefore necessary to avoid such generic or descriptive names as much as possible. Conversely, we must try to build a strong “brand” (in the branding sense) that is distinctive. In addition, beware the best protection for a name is to file such generic or descriptive names (i.e. which describe the nature of the products or services offered) do not allow any protection against third parties. In my opinion, it is therefore necessary to avoid such generic or descriptive names as much as possible. Conversely, we must try to build a strong “brand” (in the branding sense) that is distinctive. In addition, beware the best protection for a name is to file a trademark (this time in the legal sense of the term); However, to do this, distinctiveness is an essential point (you will not be able to obtain a mark which is generic or descriptive).
3rd trap: the photos
The photos I have already told you about a lot. See among others:
- Copyright and photos taken with a smartphone
- Photography and copyright: the case of the paparazzi
- Photography, copyright, employee creation and office of the appeal judge
- No, not all photos are copyrighted!
- Copyright and photographs: free and creative choices and photo by Jimi Hendrix
The fact remains that the photos found on the Internet pose a lot of problems, especially when creating a website (or, later, when operating it).
We often think that because we found a photo on Google, we can use it… This is obviously wrong.
Taking photos found on Google (or elsewhere) without the authorization of their author is to expose oneself to a risk of infringement action. Of course, and I said this before, not all photographs are copyrighted; but it is better to anticipate and avoid hassles a posteriori (and the risk of legal action), even if you have arguments to defend yourself. Prevention is better than cure. So it is better to think carefully beforehand, to make sure that the photograph is free of rights and, if it is not, to seek the authorization of its author or then perhaps to choose one. Other! It is therefore useful to anticipate and integrate these questions into your creative scheme … rather than having to defend yourself a posteriori.
If you are working with an agency, they will surely inform you about this; but do not hesitate to ask her and to check with her that she uses photos that will not pose any copyright problems (or even, for that matter, image rights!). In general, this also applies to any other type of work that this agency would use (videos, texts, musical elements, etc.).
Another hypothesis: if you hire a photographer to take custom-made photographs, remember to arrange for an assignment of intellectual property rights with him (as large as possible, since he is hired to order).
4th trap: the texts
It may sound basic or even obvious. A real truism: do not copy the texts of others, in particular your competitors.
And yet… how many times have I seen, in my practice, that a site n ° 2 had, more or less intensely, taken texts from a site n ° 1. Real copy and paste…
And I must even tell you that it was not only in terms of E-Commerce sites or literary sites… I have already seen this kind of copy and paste in really unexpected areas.
It is obviously a bad calculation because, on the one hand, it exposes to problems of intellectual property (counterfeiting…) but in addition in terms of referencing it is not the best thing that there is.
A quick reminder can help: it’s not just word-for-word plagiarism that is potentially problematic; and it is not only complete or systematic plagiarism which is reprehensible (the Court of Justice, in its judgment, Infopaq has confirmed that even the repetition of a sentence consisting of 11 words can constitute an infringement of copyright, if this sentence is original).
To end on a funny note related to audiovisual news, I saw in the disconcerting Netflix documentary ‘Tiger King’ that the now famous Joe Exotic had been convicted of copyright and trademark infringement (copyright / trademark) for taking over content belonging to Big cat Rescue. Certainly intellectual property is really everywhere and opposes all types of operators (even zoos in the United States).
According to what is explained in this documentary, the idea of Joe Exotic was to take advantage of the brand and the name of Big cat Rescue to improve its own SEO…
Bad idea because brand-based action cost Joe Exotic almost $ 1 million. So yes, we are not in the United States, but beware.