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Thread: Legal rights of a website owner

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012

    Legal rights of a website owner

    If I have somebody build a simple 5-page website for me and they are consistently unresponsive and hard to deal with, what recourse do I have?

    That person registered for the site in their name, used their credit card to pay for the hosting/domain registration, and just built the site for me for which I paid them.

    Because of their unresponsiveness, I want to take control over the domain and use somebody else who is more reliable for future web development.

    Since I paid them for said services, what is the legal process for transferring the domain to me. I technically own the site, regardless of the registration being in their name, right?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    You would have to look up the wording in the contract that you both agreed to before work started. If you 100% paid them before it is completed, you better have a well written contract for the instance of them failing to do their work and getting refunded. If there is no contract, it's your word against theirs. If they didn't present a contract, don't hire them. FYI, pay 50% to start and 50% at the completion of their work or pay 100% at the end like a normal service. You should never ever ever ever pay 100% upfront.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Thanks spufi. I'm not much of a legal expert, but this sort of thing has to happen more frequently than we'd both like to think.

    In fact, it happened with my car mechanic recently. They put four new tires on our car and the tires ended up being wobbly and were discontinued by the manufacturer due to many issues. When I brought the car back, the guy said the warranty was not valid. Lesson: Never take somebody's word as a contract. Always get it in writing.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Sault Ste. Marie, MI
    Whenever I do a website for a client I make them sign an Independent Contractor agreement that I had made up from a lawyer. Basically it states that they have to pay me half up front before I do any work. The reason I require this is an incentive to actually put in the time and as good faith on their part as well that they are going to pay the full amount at the end. I also state in my contract that once the website is launched live the copyright is transferred from my company to theirs. They own all the material once its launched. Now if they refuse to pay or back out half way through the process I keep the 50% as payment for the work I have already done and as a penalty for backing out of the legally binding contract. I have it state that they can back out no later than 15 days after signing the contract.

    Just look at the contract like Spufi said and see what it says about your issue. Also in the future read the fine print closely and look into the company that your hiring so that you can read reviews and see their work. It may help you to find someone a little more professional in behavior.
    WYSIWYG editors will never beat my hand written code!!!! Learn to do it in notepad and learn how to actually control your website! Current Project http://www.jmcanineservices.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2012

    Down payment

    The down payment makes sense. Thank you.

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