Legal Issues when Making a New Website

Creation of a website

Due to the huge impact that the internet currently has on the way in which we do business it is imperative that any existing or new business have a functioning website which can be accessed by their customers.

The creation of a website is not used simply for a business with many people in the United Kingdom creating sites for other forms of self promotion. For example individuals aspiring to be musicians, DJ’s, writers or poets may set up their own websites.

Setting up your own website may be quite a simple process but there are certain legal issues which should be taken into consideration.

What legal issues will arise when a website is created?

One of the main legal rights and protection that is created when a website is first set up is that of copyright protection.

What copyright protection will exist upon the creation of my website?

Copyright under the laws of England and Wales is provided for in the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988.

In order to be provided with copyright protection under the Act there is no requirement for formal registration of the copyrighted work. This means that provided that the work is a literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, film or broadcast and that the work falls within the definition of originality when the work was created the work will be protected by copyright.

This means that when a website is created copyright protection is likely to exist in relation to the following elements:

  •       The text of the site – can be protected as a literary work
  •       The pictures on the site – can be protected as either photographic or artistic work
  •       Any clips or videos on the site – can be protected as a film and or dramatic work

Who will own these rights following creation of the website?

Generally ownership of the copyright in the different elements of the site will belong to different people.

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For more information on:

  • Are there other laws which I should be careful not to infringe when I create a website?
  • What potential laws could I be breaking?
  • Are there any other laws other than Intellectual Property that I need to be aware of?
  • Are there any laws specific to potential consumers of my website which I should be aware of?