If you have a unique idea for a website, how do you protect your idea during the process of finding a developer to create the site?
I have some basic web design skills, but I am not nearly proficient enough in coding to create the type of website I'm looking for.
Some of the characteristics I'm looking for are:
-Community based format where users can create a free profile and post pictures.
-A feedback system nearly the same as E-Bay's. With feedback scores for each user.
-Payment processing. Shipping confirmation.
You cannot patent "ideas".
A non-disclosure agreement only keeps an honest person honest.
One of the founders of a well-known social network got away with it... he was hired by someone who was trying - unsuccessfully - to do the same thing. He quit and created a popular social network - was later sued and lost some money, but still managed to make off with the idea.
The only protection on a website is a REGISTERED copyright. You have 90 days to register your copyright with the US Copyright office if you wish to sue someone for damages and/or attorney's fees.
If you put on a (C) copyright notice, that is sufficient for most other countries who are party to the Berne Convention - as is the US, but the US ignores it anyway and has its own rules. You can enforce a copyright without registering it in the USA, but if you want to sue for attorney's fees and damages, you have three months after creation to register it with the trademark office ($35.00)
The US Copyright office it totally obsolete and should be closed - most other countries get by fine without one.