Website copyright - Copyright Law and the Internet

The internet has made us all publishers and many of the copyright laws apply. The internet is not considered public domain and any original work, including photos, art and text, are protected even if there is no copyright notice.

If you receive a complaint about your website, the prudent course of action is to immediately remove the material while you seek proof of ownership. If it comes to a court appearance, your immediate response will be viewed favorably.

There have been legal issues with certain types of linking. Currently, there is no problem with linking to the front page of a website. If you use another company's logo (like Amazon.Com's), or imply a relationship, you must obtain the other company's permission in writing. Oral agreements are acceptable but difficult to prove.

Deep linking is done when a link bypasses the front page of a website and links to an interior page. So far deep linking is okay (but unsettled), as long as it doesn't imply a relationship. If your website contains outbound links, consider adding the following disclaimer to your website:
By providing links to other sites, [your website name] does not guarantee, approve or endorse the information or products available at these sites.
Framing another website's content has been found by one court to be an infringement of copyright. A website called TotalNews framed content from CNN and the Washington Post. They were ordered to stop framing and use text links only.

If you own a website that allows the public to post comments, you will want to protect yourself with a "click to accept" agreement.

"User agrees not to post any materials protected under copyright, trademark or trade secrets unless with the express authorization of the owner or, any material likely to defame or invade the privacy of an individual."
"Click to accept" agreements (click wrap agreements) often accompany royalty-free and copyright free materials i.e. shareware and clip art. These agreements commonly allow personal use and prohibit resale to others. "Click to accept" agreements are generally acceptable in the United States.

Commercial sites will want to have a refund and return policy, and any website that provides downloads will want to state that they are not responsible for any viruses picked up during the download.

Remember, disclaimers prominently displayed can limit damages. The owner of the website is liable for anything posted on their website. For more information regarding copyrights please go to You can also find further information about copyrights and the web by going to Stanford University's website at: If you would like to copyright your website you can go to

About the Author
Mark Walters is a third generation real estate investor who shares his experience from two Web sites...

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Divorce is certainly an emotional time for families. In fact, it ranks as one of the most stressful experiences in life. However, it is not only the adults who experience this stress. If the adults are parents, their children often suffer greatly. Their suffering can not be entirely eliminated. A certain amount of grief at the 'death' of their parents' relationship is to be expected. Nevertheless, while the adults are going through typically arduous legal wrangling it is important for them to remember the needs of their children and put them first. Deciding to cooperate for their sake will help to protect the children's emotional well being by maintaining their sense of security and need for unconditional love. Marital breakdown is difficult for everyone - especially children. There are several ways in which loving, responsible parents can cooperate for the good of their children. Even though the marriage may have broken down, the parental relationship is 'till death do us part'.

Child and youth counselors emphasize that children need lasting relationships with both parents. More often than not joint custody is granted because of this accepted understanding. Ideally, the relationship of the parents should be business-like and cooperative for the sake of the children. Children should not witness hostility between their parents and should not hear negative statements about either parent. It is recommended that parents commit to regularly scheduled meetings, in a neutral location for the purpose of discussing child-related issues. Education, medical, religious and moral issues that concern the children's well- being need to be dealt with by both parents. If emotions prohibit calm conversation, there are often family justice counselors available in the community to facilitate these important meetings.

Children going through the divorce of their parents usually have many questions and worries. Compassionate responses are required and it certainly takes mature parents in order to put aside their own issues and help their children gain some understanding about a situation over which they have no control. Unfortunately, many children experience guilt and often blame themselves for the marital breakup of their parents. Counseling - whether group or individual - can be an effective way to lessen this destructive burden. The objectivity of the counselor may help the child open up and share his/her feelings. As children mature, their questions will differ so the issue of their parents' divorce is never really over. A commitment on behalf of both parents to open communication with the children will reassure them greatly.

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