Are you a Google Analytics enthusiast?
More SEO Content
Copyright And Seo
Posted 22 February 2006 - 10:04 AM
As SEO is a methodology, there really isnt anything tangible to copyright or is there? Can the client we are contracted to demand ownership of the copyright of our "SEO work"
Frankly, I dont like handing over the copyright to anything but copyright on SEO is certainly something that shouldnt be just released.
I have been requested to prepare a letter in regards copyright of our ongoing work, most of which relates to SEO. Client is practically invisible on Google at this point in time.
Very vague in this area. Any resources around?
Posted 22 February 2006 - 10:08 AM
Posted 22 February 2006 - 10:17 AM
But there are many exceptions. For example, if you are an employee, not a consultant, then the copyright is already owned by the employer.
Likewise, if you are hired as an independent contractor, then copyright would stay with the contractor, unless the contract directly stated differently.
You are right in that a lot of SEO work simply isn't copyrightable, such as linkbuilding and so forth. But some, like SEO copy, is. It's arguable if titles are - I suspect they are not, being too short and focused to show significant human creativity - all too often it's more of a formula (keywords + maybe the site name, for example, or just keywords).
Posted 22 February 2006 - 11:11 AM
What in effect your asking your clients to do is to sign a blackmail agreement whereby if they stop paying you for any reason, you can demand their site is pulled under a DMCA breech.
Posted 22 February 2006 - 11:19 AM
Yes, of course you need to be paid first!
Posted 22 February 2006 - 10:17 PM
I have no problem with this client or any client owning the copyright once they've paid me in full. Torka gave me some great advice recently by saying to put in the contract that "all copyright is owned by me ( the company ) until final payment is made." That gives the client an incentive to make sure they pay.
Posted 23 February 2006 - 12:28 AM
On bigger projects, by the time we get to the end, the trust is already built up so there isn't a problem. If they want me to finish the last part of a project without payment, I may do this if the trust is strong. If not, I insist on getting the money.
It's just policy.. So I don't have to worry about the copyright issue to protect my last payment.
Wedding photographers in the past almost always kept the negatives and the rights to them as well. Today, more and more wedding photogs give up these negs and rights to them. Inpart because it relieves them of the need to store them, but more than that is the premise that the content of the photographs belong to the client. Neither side is right or wrong. Both are legal and moral.
Early on, many web developers coming from the print industry (almost) exclusively kept the rights to their work. Atleast on the graphic side. Things are different today.
The biggest thing is that most content created for a web site is not reused in other forms. In the print industry a piece was used in many different forms. If I designed a graphic for you to use an a magazine advertisement and then 3 moths later you wanted to create a brochure using this graphic you needed to pay me for its use.
Another thing to think about when it comes to holding copyright on intellectual property that others use is the legal ramifications. Many times, my clients collaborate in the production of web content. If I hold copyright on this material, more of the liability is also shifted towards me.
Are you 100% sure that your client holds all of the rights to what they are doing? If not, you could be held partly responsible for the information that you produce. If you take a web page and re-write it for seo, you use much of the information that was already existing. When you re-write this page and decide to keep the copyright on the work, it becomes yours and you are responsible for the content.
I know that it doesn't completely protect me, but I sign over copyright of intellectual property and disclose this in a contractual way to show that the property I created was just an enhancement of what is already there. Especially when much of the technical information is provided by the client. I ask them if they have the rights to this info, but you know how this can go- I know this doesn't completely protect me, but it does lessen my liability..
Posted 23 February 2006 - 12:31 AM
Yep, you can, at least in Canada and the US, and I'd take bets on it in the rest of the Commonwealth. If you are an employee and work at the direction of the employer, then, as you say, everything belongs to the employer.
But if you are an independent consultant, then everything (creative) is yours unless a contract specifically says otherwise, through an assignment, and the assignment has to be specific.
Otherwise, for example, if a contractor made some code for a shopping cart (for example), then they would not be able to use a version of it for the next client, and the contractor would shortly starve
This naturally doesn't apply to non-creative things. But, for example, SEO sales copy would usually fall under "creative". Stuffing keywords in the clients copy obviously would not.
Posted 23 February 2006 - 12:45 AM
Torka had a post a while back about this with a link to US statute.
Now, without contractual assignment the property belongs to the party who is paying for it and no longer the desinger/maker. I was surprised because it had always been just the oppisite. I read it a few times because I thought I was reading it incorrectly. I used to work on the legal side of the insurance business and am very familiar with contractual "jargon." I could be misunderstanding, maybe someone who DEFINITIVELY knows can chime in...
Posted 23 February 2006 - 01:04 AM
I'm not sure what makes you think that, but it's wrong. DEFINITIVELY.
Unless the contract with with the independent contractor specifically outlines that this is a "work for hire' (and uses that language), then the contractor owns it, though they may assign it afterwards.
Posted 23 February 2006 - 01:35 AM
It shows that the best thing to do is make sure that ownership of property is spelled out contractually. It protects everyone involved.
Posted 23 February 2006 - 01:53 AM
I have this simply to ensure that there is an interest in the client NOT trying to break out of the contract early. And since we collect monthly payments up front, the only time this would be an issue is if the client does not make their regularly scheduled payments.
Posted 28 February 2006 - 08:11 PM
What does it matter if I have the copyright of a page on your server (i.e. I have replaced your old content with better content) when you don't pay me?
Or does the SEO hang on to the optimized copy until payment is received?
Posted 28 February 2006 - 09:58 PM
You think this lenient approach to contracting and collections could cause problems? Last year I wrote off less than 1% of all the work I did. A few clients were slow, but they eventually paid. I am quite sure that the gain in sales much more than compensates for the tiny amount of non-payment.
Posted 28 February 2006 - 10:06 PM
it just takes one bad apple...
0 user(s) are reading this topic
0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users