In all my years designing web sites, I don’t recall a client yet that is versed in copyright law or website ownership. I don’t find this strange at all. If you’ve never had to deal with it, there’s no reason you would know about it.
I Am Not A Lawyer
… nor do I pretend to be. I am only passing on some very basic information based on what I’ve learned in my years of business.
If you should ever experience a copyright issue that you or your web designer cannot work out on your own with something like a simple “Cease and Desist” letter to the offending party, don’t try to take it any farther on your own. Your next step should be to contact a lawyer, preferably one that’s versed in Internet copyright law.
In A Nutshell
Copyright law says that the creator of the design and content on a web site automatically becomes the legal owner of said design or content the moment it’s designed or written. It’s customary to post a copyright statement on one’s web site but it’s really not necessary nor is it required by law. Let’s face it, since when do a few words on a web page stop someone from stealing your content if they really want it? If you think a copyright statement is going to stop them, you need to back up and then move forward in re-think mode.
If you want to review the actual laws, one of the best sites to do so belongs to Attorney Ivan Hoffman. Attorney Hoffman is considered to be the most highly regarded authority on the subject of Internet web site law. He provides an impressive list of links for web site designers and site owners that you may wish to review.
A brief list of other good sites to visit are below. You can always Google for more!