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Website Content Dispute - Small Business Copyright?

Discussion in 'Intellectual Property Law Forum' started by Sanjeev Sharma, 5 July 2014.

  1. Sanjeev Sharma

    Sanjeev Sharma Active Member

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    I have a small business and I have some content on my website which we recently developed. Another company is claiming that we have stolen content from their website which we clearly did not. Its a colour selector program which lot of companies use worldwide. I am not sure what should be my next step as this is putting me under lot of stress.
     
  2. John R

    John R Well-Known Member

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    Hi Sanjeev,
    1. Has the company and/or their lawyers formally communicated (that is, sent you a letter or similar) that clearly sets out what they believe you have stolen/infringed?
    2. Have you confirmed that the "colour selector program" is appropriately licensed to you?
     
  3. Tim W

    Tim W Lawyer

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    1. I agree with John R above.

    2. Unless you wrote it yourself, or unless it's in the public domain
      (which is different to just being in the wild on the net),
      then there will probably be a copyright holder somewhere.
      And you will need their consent to use it.
      You may have to pay for that.

    3. The fact that "everybody uses it", or that you are one of many
      who use it in breach of copyright on it, doesn't change anything.
     
  4. Sanjeev Sharma

    Sanjeev Sharma Active Member

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    Hi John,
    Yes the company has communicated to me and asked me to remove the colour selector program. The material is developed by my developer to show customer how a roller shutter would look like and they can change the colours. Just as car companies show how the car exterior would look like in different colours. The idea is basically the same to provide customer with a tool to change colours of the shutters. If one roller shutter company has implemented it, does it mean that no other company can have this idea on the internet as it looks completely different.
     
  5. John R

    John R Well-Known Member

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    Hi Sanjeev,
    Why did they ask you to remove the colour selector program - For example, is the source code similar?
     
  6. Sanjeev Sharma

    Sanjeev Sharma Active Member

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    No, the source code is not the same.
     
  7. Sanjeev Sharma

    Sanjeev Sharma Active Member

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    They just believe if they have used it, no other company can do it.
     
  8. winston wolf

    winston wolf Well-Known Member

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    Have they quoted a patent number etc?
    I would say if they dont have a patent and the code or method (ie flash v java) is different of obvious they are trying it on.
    What does your developer say? Did they demonstrate the code difference?
     
  9. Sanjeev Sharma

    Sanjeev Sharma Active Member

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    My developer says that he has created original work and have not copied paste anything though the idea is similar.
     
  10. Tim W

    Tim W Lawyer

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    1. Software accrues copyright (because code is a"literary work").
      By contrast, the device it runs on can be patented.

    2. It's up to the guy who thinks he has a problem
      (called a "plaintiff", or in the Copyright Tribunal, an "applicant")
      to prove that a work is "infringing" on their copyright.
      His mere opinion is not enough. No matter how foot-stampy he gets.

    3. When you say "Another company is claiming that we have stolen content from their website", what are they actually doing ?
      For example, have they written to you? Rung you? Sent you an abusive email?
      Got on Facebnook and sprayed allegations around?

    4. One other thing - if your developer claims to have not infringed,
      are you personally tech-literate enough to know?
     

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