4 Tips to Keep Your Website Legal

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Half of having a successful website is producing wonderful content people can’t get enough of. The other half is maintaining integrity with the law to keep your website in business. Unless you’re engaging in illegal activity, you have nothing to worry about, right? Well, not exactly. Hundreds of lawsuits have been filed against website owners for many reasons, including not making their website accessible to people with disabilities. Here are four tips to avoid breaking the law:

 

1. Images

The most common issue many web designers face when it comes to copyright law has to do with the images they use in their layouts. For some designers, it is common practice to find images they need by doing a Google search or pulling an unlicensed image from a stock photo library.

 

The problem with this is that, as Google itself warns, these images are usually protected by copyrights, and their use as part of a layout almost certainly constitutes an infringement. As detection tools improve in quality and drop in price, more infringements are being detected. It is always important to make sure that you have the rights to use an image in your layout, even if it is just a placeholder.

 

2. Dummy Copy

Though the use of dummy text is largely a hold over from the print design world, many web designers continue to use it for various reasons. It can pose a great risk if the dummy copy is pulled from another site. Even if the copy is just for testing purposes, it still constitutes an infringement. It may be unwittingly harming the original authors if the search engines have detected the test site.

 

Generally speaking, it is best to either use content from the client's current site if possible, or true lorem ipsum text if it isn't (http://www.lipsum.com). Considering that lorem ipsum text is actually more flexible than using articles and content from other sites, it makes sense in nearly every regard.

 

3. Avoid violating copyright law

Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter show a steady stream of copyright violations that go unprosecuted, but that doesn’t mean you can do it on your website. All it takes is one incident to generate tens of thousands of dollars in fines. Even if you bought a license to use copyrighted material, you could still end up in a lawsuit until you can prove it.

 

4. Always save proof of your purchases

Anytime you purchase intellectual property like images, video, and software, make sure you print and save the licensing information and proof of payment. If there’s an account associated with the purchase, document that, too. If you do end up in court, the company might need your email address to search their records for a legitimate purchase.

 

Bottom Line

In the end, it is important to keep copyright infringement in mind when designing websites and services. It only takes a few minutes to do things correctly but it takes just one copyright infringement complaint to sandbag an entire design career.

Source: https://www.sitepoint.com/the-web-designers-copyright-crash-course

 

https://code.tutsplus.com/articles/5-biggest-copyright-pitfalls-for-web-designers--net-14754

 

https://www.websitemagazine.com/blog/don-t-let-your-website-land-you-in-court-4-tips-to-stay-legal?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter

 

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