Legal advice: Protecting your website

Related tags London solicitors joelson Copyright Property

By Briony Edwards of's team of legal experts from London solicitors Joelson Wilson.By making your website accessible to the world at...

By Briony Edwards of's team of legal experts from London solicitors Joelson Wilson.

By making your website accessible to the world at large you, as a business or in your personal capacity, are potentially putting the information into the hands of unscrupulous individuals who may take advantage of the trusting and naïve.

It is important to be aware of the different components of a website to which intellectual property rights and protection apply.

They include:

  • Hypertext links
  • Logos and trademarks
  • Music
  • Graphics
  • Software
  • Short excerpts of film footage.

The most common type of intellectual property to be present in a website is copyright - which we have analysed in a previous article (click hereto find out more).

The design, layout and overall impression of the whole website will also be protected by copyright, as will individual creative works.

By including a piece of work on your website not only are you making it freely available to anyone with access to the internet but the threat is increased by the fact that individuals will be accessing your website from every corner of the globe and each country will have its own laws on protecting intellectual property. There is also the added difficulty of tracking down the individuals and commencing legal proceedings against them for infringement in overseas jurisdictions.

In order to reduce the chances of being placed in the unenviable position of having to go to court in Papua New Guinea here are a few suggested tips on protecting what is rightfully yours:

  • Identify the work as belonging to you. Include a copyright notice on each and every original piece of work and on the website as a whole. A notice should include the name of the owner and the first year of publication - for example "©Joe Bloggs 2005"
  • Exercise caution when placing work of great value to yourself or your company onto the website - for example, when a piece of work has required a great deal of time and energy only include a small excerpt
  • Consider having terms and conditions on the site which users must agree to before accessing any information. Maybe even have them in several languages
  • Be alert and monitor activity on your website.

Related topics Legislation

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