Understanding Website Ownership.
When it comes to website ownership, what rights do business owners really have to use and control their site and content? To answer the question of who owns my website, firstly imagine it as a house. The domain name is the address, the hosting is the land, the core software is the foundation, the theme is the exterior, and the content is the interior.
So just like a house, website ownership can be complicated, because of all the components required to make it functional. However in this case, many of these are covered by copyright law.
Essentially your website is a business asset which is protected by copyright. Copyright is an automatic right assigned to the creator of any original creative work that is written down, recorded audibly or physically crafted.
This means that things like the text, images and media materials on your website will be owned by the person who created them. So if you hire a third party to do this work, they will be the copyright owner. Unless they have a policy (like ours) and hand it over on completion.
Beware Template Services & Third Parties.
Warning. Be careful when using proprietary platforms like all inclusive template website services. They often lack the flexibility required for development growth and many lock down your website. This can make it impossible to ever move away without starting over.
Furthermore providers often retain copyright or the right to do whatever they like with your content. So always check the terms before setting out alone or agree a contract before commissioning any work. This is because it’s important to acknowledge that copyright ownership will transfer to your business once it’s satisfied.
You can learn more about website ownership from the Intellectual Property Office.