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OldGuy

Need a little advice Regards Intellectual Property theft / infringement

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I've already read some really useful information regarding IP and Copyright on this forum but would like some real world advice on an problem that I'm currently facing. Unfortunately for me this problem has been caused by the same client from my previous post regarding the £260 website project.

 

I'm not going to go into that again but the situation is as follows. A client has decided to move their site to another host which is fine, before they moved I made it clear that they could re-use everything which they had paid for i.e. the main site code and design but could not take my proprietary gallery code, or the logo design neither which they had paid for.

 

However I have just found that the client has ripped all of the front end gallery code from the original website and appear to be in the process of rebuilding the back end code to make the my gallery code work again. They have also removed my branding and copyright notice. The front end code was totally scratch written and was a substantial amount of work and code. Sure I understand it impossible to protect client side code but this is a blatant attempt to take my intellectual property.

 

My questions are :-

 

Does anyone have any real world experience with an issue like this?

 

Is there anything I can do to protect my intellectual property now they have removed my branding?

 

Most importantly is it actually worth perusing?

 

TIA OldGuy

 

 

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Most importantly is it actually worth perusing?

No, not for something like this. This client has taken up a lot of your time already.

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No, not for something like this. This client has taken up a lot of your time already.

Your probably quite right It's just so frustrating that people can just take your work without even paying for it. If I stole something from shop I'd be in serious trouble yet in the digital world it sometimes feels like a free for all, very sad.

 

 

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I agree it's probably not worth pursuing, but it might be worth contacting the web host and saying one of their customers has stolen it from you. They are liable, so they generally tend to take action. However, you'd probably just be chasing them from host to host at that point, so it's not really worth your time.

 

I've heard of people in a similar situation filing it with small claims for £35. I'm not a lawyer though so I don't know much about it.

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Mate I'd agree it's frustrating, but I'd just drop it. To be honest I would pay £260 just to get rid of them, all this hassle is eating your time ad that time could be better spent making money with a nice client.

 

Your probably quite right It's just so frustrating that people can just take your work without even paying for it. If I stole something from shop I'd be in serious trouble yet in the digital world it sometimes feels like a free for all, very sad.

 

Totally agree there. Real world example, I asked a potential client last week where the images would be coming from for a web project and they replied "Oh, we were just going to get them from Google as they're free." ... enough said really, prime example of clients to avoid :s

 

Edit: Forgot to say in the IP world you're probably in the right, but the cost and hassle of chasing would far outweigh any reward. Just when they can't get it working just smile and say "... and your point is?" ;)

Edited by BrowserBugs

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Mate I'd agree it's frustrating, but I'd just drop it. To be honest I would pay £260 just to get rid of them, all this hassle is eating your time ad that time could be better spent making money with a nice client.

 

 

Totally agree there. Real world example, I asked a potential client last week where the images would be coming from for a web project and they replied "Oh, we were just going to get them from Google as they're free." ... enough said really, prime example of clients to avoid :s

 

Edit: Forgot to say in the IP world you're probably in the right, but the cost and hassle of chasing would far outweigh any reward. Just when they can't get it working just smile and say "... and your point is?" ;)

Very true they've only got the front end code and probably won't know how to make it work again, at least without putting in a lot of effort[emoji23][emoji23].

 

Totally agree with all comments, I'm busy setting up some VPS boxes at the moment so my head has been stuck in a terminal all morning, better focus on that as I don't want an accidental "sudo -rf /" to break everything [emoji23][emoji23]! I might send a quick email to the hosting company later just to see if they'll do anything to help.

 

 

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I've already read some really useful information regarding IP and Copyright on this forum but would like some real world advice on an problem that I'm currently facing. Unfortunately for me this problem has been caused by the same client from my previous post regarding the £260 website project.

 

I'm not going to go into that again but the situation is as follows. A client has decided to move their site to another host which is fine, before they moved I made it clear that they could re-use everything which they had paid for i.e. the main site code and design but could not take my proprietary gallery code, or the logo design neither which they had paid for.

 

However I have just found that the client has ripped all of the front end gallery code from the original website and appear to be in the process of rebuilding the back end code to make the my gallery code work again. They have also removed my branding and copyright notice. The front end code was totally scratch written and was a substantial amount of work and code. Sure I understand it impossible to protect client side code but this is a blatant attempt to take my intellectual property.

 

My questions are :-

 

Does anyone have any real world experience with an issue like this?

 

Is there anything I can do to protect my intellectual property now they have removed my branding?

 

Most importantly is it actually worth perusing?

 

TIA OldGuy

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

 

I've read the original thread in question, in full.

 

There are a few issues. You wrote the code without charging the client. You have no contract. The client can quite rightly please ignorance.

 

Secondly, I'm not sure one could argue that code for gallery system (which even if you make a meal of it, amounts to nothing more than a few basic database queries and some form of front end HTML) even has intellectual property you can own.

 

To own IP you need to have created it and it meets the requirements for copyright, a patent or a design - foe which a simple gallery system meets none.

 

If I knocked up a news system in say PHP and MySQL I see little point in attempting to claim IP. A news system is a news system and can be recreated with ease by any developer. The same applies to a gallery system. I could create one (with filtering, categories, detail pages, basic admin area etc.) in an hour or so if using a a good framework like Laravel.

 

Purely out of interest and with the greatest respect, what makes you think the gallery system you wrote (excluding how much time it took you) is so unique?

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I've read the original thread in question, in full.

 

There are a few issues. You wrote the code without charging the client. You have no contract. The client can quite rightly please ignorance.

 

Secondly, I'm not sure one could argue that code for gallery system (which even if you make a meal of it, amounts to nothing more than a few basic database queries and some form of front end HTML) even has intellectual property you can own.

 

To own IP you need to have created it and it meets the requirements for copyright, a patent or a design - foe which a simple gallery system meets none.

 

If I knocked up a news system in say PHP and MySQL I see little point in attempting to claim IP. A news system is a news system and can be recreated with ease by any developer. The same applies to a gallery system. I could create one (with filtering, categories, detail pages, basic admin area etc.) in an hour or so if using a a good framework like Laravel.

 

Purely out of interest and with the greatest respect, what makes you think the gallery system you wrote (excluding how much time it took you) is so unique?

I'm not entirely sure I'd agree with your logic here, not that I'm in any way trying undermine your post, however as I think you will agree any program/code (web based or otherwise) can generally be broken down into simple routines / methods. Saying that because a program uses "a few database queries" therefore is not worthy of IP does not seem logical as IP would not apply to basic methods and or routines but the overall product.

 

Take a basic IPhone email app for example, it'll use basic IMAP queries, probably uses an SQLite DB for indexing. Has a simple front-end that shows, mailboxes, messages, and message content. Despite many of these being remarkably similar (Take Spark and AirMail for a real world example) they are both copyrighted in there own rights. I understand where your coming from but I'm not sure the logic holds out, after all would we consider a Picasso just a series of brush strokes?

 

 

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I'm not entirely sure I'd agree with your logic here, not that I'm in any way trying undermine your post, however as I think you will agree any program/code (web based or otherwise) can generally be broken down into simple routines / methods. Saying that because a program uses "a few database queries" therefore is not worthy of IP does not seem logical as IP would not apply to basic methods and or routines but the overall product.

 

Take a basic IPhone email app for example, it'll use basic IMAP queries, probably uses an SQLite DB for indexing. Has a simple front-end that shows, mailboxes, messages, and message content. Despite many of these being remarkably similar (Take Spark and AirMail for a real world example) they are both copyrighted in there own rights. I understand where your coming from but I'm not sure the logic holds out, after all would we consider a Picasso just a series of brush strokes?

 

 

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I see your reasoning, but if I attempted to claim IP on say a news system I wrote in PHP, I'd have HUGE difficulty.

 

With the greatest respect, apart from the fact you've written a bit of code from scratch what makes it worth attempting to claim IP on?

 

If this is something you wish to follow up on I hope you have a bullet proof contract on what the client is and isn't allowed to do.

 

Also, the examples are based upon huge multi million dollar companies/products :)

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