Legal action over website
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Thread: Legal action over website

  1. #1
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    Legal action over website

    I set up a website a while ago to help me get work and I've put all my previous websites on there to help me promote it. But now my old boss who sacked me is now being doubly nice by threatening legal action because I've put websites on there that I built whilst at the company. It sounds like hot air but does anyone know what my position actually is on this? I'm living in the UK.
    Last edited by Nibinaear; November 2nd, 2009 at 07:05 AM.

  2. #2
    PeejAvery's Avatar
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    Re: Legal action over website

    This is 100% contingent upon the contract you signed back when working. Read it through.
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  3. #3
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    Re: Legal action over website

    Unfortunately, you may have a problem. All work done for a company, whilst at the employment of that company, belongs to the company.

    On the other hand, potential employers may want to see what you have done. What did you say on your website, did you say that you created those sites ¿
    Do you have a link to your site ¿

    Perhaps if you have phrased your involvement better, or got permission to do that, I don't know...

  4. #4
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    Re: Legal action over website

    Quote Originally Posted by HanneSThEGreaT View Post
    All work done for a company, whilst at the employment of that company, belongs to the company.
    I don't mean to create an argument, but this isn't exactly true 100% of the time. When it comes to the design realm of technology, often times your contract will specify if you have creativity rights. You really need to check your contract. If nothing is stated towards your rights, then the company will win in a legal engagement.
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  5. #5
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    Re: Legal action over website

    Some contracts go so far as to state that *any* and *all* work done on a computer owned by the company is property of the company, whether or not that work is related to the company. This can include personal work!

    Viggy

  6. #6
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    Re: Legal action over website

    Quote Originally Posted by PeejAvery View Post
    I don't mean to create an argument, but this isn't exactly true 100% of the time. When it comes to the design realm of technology, often times your contract will specify if you have creativity rights. You really need to check your contract. If nothing is stated towards your rights, then the company will win in a legal engagement.
    I agree with your statements, but most of the people I've heared of finding other work, this seemed to have been the case. This is South Africa though

    We need to see what the OP's done on his website.

  7. #7
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    Re: Legal action over website

    Replace the sites, with links to the real sites. If you did them while there, they can't complain if you state that.
    David

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  8. #8
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    Re: Legal action over website

    I'd like to echo as well that in most cases it depends on the contract you signed with the company you worked for as well as the employee rules (aka if you had a handbook, what does it say). Most companies claim rights to anything you do that is at all related to what they do. If you are a web site developer, then it is most likely that any web sites you create while working for them, belong to them. This can be true even if you are on your own time, using your own equipment, and using your own ideas.

    There are a few laws, such as in the state of California, that protect some of your rights, to some extent on things you might do outside of your day job, but in general those protections are for things that are completely unrelated to what you do and are exposed to in your day job.

    I'd speculate that your forum company owns the rights to the site you built. As was stated, you might need to build a completely new site.

    You might want to be careful as well, some employment contracts can carry over beyond your current employment. You have to know what you signed or what you agreed to when you took a job.

    As an example - I write books on technology. Even though my day job doesn't do print publishing, they do technology. Since my books are on technology, they could claim ownership even though I create them on my own time. Of course, at the time of this post, I have a clause in my employment agreement that states I can do books independently. Each year, I reiterate that when HR comes knocking to confirm I have the employment handbook information and agreement.

    Brad!

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