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Learn how to navigate copyright and intellectual property ownership smartly so you own your work, and own your future.

5 Things Your Web Developer Won’t Tell You About Copyright & IP Ownership That You Need to Know

Photo Credit: The Exemplary Programmer by Alper Çuğun used under CC BY 2.0

Photo Credit: The Exemplary Programmer by Alper Çuğun used under CC BY 2.0

The United States Copyright Office defines a “computer program” as a set of statements or instructions to be used directly or indirectly in a computer in order to bring about a certain result.

The Copyright Office tells us that “copyright protection extends to all of the copyrightable expression embodied in a computer program,” but no copyright protection is available for “ideas, program logic, algorithms, systems, methods, concepts, or layouts.”

A web developer may create and develop copyrightable code for a website or app commissioned by a client, but he may have no clue as to the process of copyrighting that code or licensing website content.

1. “I’m a web developer — not a copyright expert.”

A web developer may know everything possible that there is to know about computer programming, the development of World Wide Web applications and distributed network applications run from a web server to a web browser but he may be completely in the dark as to the Intellectual Property rights and interests that arise in connection with any program or web application that he develops for a client.

A web developer shouldn’t be expected to provide legal advice as to the rights and responsibilities a client may have in regard to preserving and protecting intellectual property interests in the computer programs and web applications that he creates.

2. “If you don’t know what I’m selling, you probably don’t know what you’re buying.”

Clients of a web developer need to Continue reading