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Why Is It Important For Startups To Keep Their Website And Designs Legal?

In this digital web 2.0 age, most startups seem to be smitten by the fact that a visually appealing and functional can effectively summon the attention and interest of users. And quite rightly, a visually appealing site impresses strangers to the site turning them into prospects and impressed prospects are more likely to buy from your site, according to Kissmetrics. But getting a web design that can effectively take elements of your brand to impress to your target audience is not the only thing that you should be concerned about.

It is important to ensure that your website, graphic designs, codes and links are all legal. Remember, not being heedful to the legal aspects of your website and design can get you into trouble. But legal mumbo jumbo related to digital copyrights is often too overwhelming and too confusing. So, here we present to you a short list of things you’ll want to remember.

1.) Not Everything Is Up For Grabs:

A fair share of people believe that if something is available on the web, then that’s up for grabs. It makes sense to read the end-user license to make sure your planned use of the element complies with the terms and conditions. This is even more important when you’re trying to sell your work. No matter, you’re using a tiny piece of graphical element available on the web, it will still fall into the infringement category. You could always assume that you won’t get caught, but identification technology is easily accessible to artists and designers, today. Make sure to check copyright restrictions before using anything you’ve taken off the web. This will save you and your startup from most of the copyright issues that might creep up in the future.

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2.) Every Part of The Design Must Be Legal:

Often, you may get tempted to copy or steal some sort of graphical elements from someone else’s website thinking that you’re just borrowing a small element, which will probably go unnoticed. But it’s vital that you control such urge as it may run you and your startup into rough weathers. Refrain from using a modified version of such graphics without seeking approval from the owner.  Remember, even if you make significant changes to its appearance, you’re likely to invite a copyright infringement lawsuit under “derivative work policies”. Dusk Peterson reveals greater details about sharing and derivative copyright policies. It is essential to ensure that you’ve the copyright for every part of your website design, right from fonts to the graphics and overall voice of the design. So, if you plan to “borrow” images, fonts or other graphical elements use as a part of your website design, do well to obtain proper copyrights.


3.) Avoid Using Trademark Images:

Be very careful when you’re considering a trademark design such as a custom logo design, a graphic or even an image. Usage of graphical elements that are trademarked or bear close resemblance to trademarked designs go against the intellectual property laws. Therefore, it’s recommended not to use trademark design if you don’t have the proper license or permission to use them. Remember, even a tiny part of such trademark design used in your website without proper license or consent from the website owner make you guilty of violation acts and get you and your startup in legal troubles. If you’re looking to find out if a graphical resource is free to copy or not, do well to check the Creative Commons license.

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4.) Refrain From Copying Codes and Links:

It’s not just designs that are protected by copyright laws, even codes and links are copyright protected. So, if you find neat JavaScript or snippets of codes, don’t get tempted to copy and paste it into your web page for it may cost you a lot of hassles and a considerable fortune. Do well to contact the Webmaster to seek permission or check out public domain archives.

Linking between website is perhaps the reason that keeps the world of internet connected. In fact, experts say that without linking, the web wouldn’t exist. But that doesn’t mean you can link your website to any other website available on the Internet. The internet simply swarms with several dozen examples of lawsuits where inappropriate linking were the major point of contention.

5.) You’re Responsible For Your Website:

Whether you’ve designed the website yourself or have hired a designer, as a startup website owner, you’ll held responsible before a court of law if any legal issue crops up. Bit Law clearly reveals that in most cases, copyright infringement lawsuits are filed against the website owners. Remember, such lawsuits in most countries require you to be present in person. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that such legal cases may eat up your precious time that you could have otherwise spent taking your startup off the ground. Well of course in this case a good offense is your best defense.

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No matter, you’re trying your hands at designing your website or hiring the services of crowdsourcing contest based sites such as Designhill, you need to ensure that every element of your design is legal. So do well to check your website for anything that can add up to breach of copyright policies. If you spot anything, just take it off your website. Remember, as a general rule, you’re the one who is held responsible unless you’ve documentation proving someone else’s involvement and responsibility. In case, you’re getting your website designed, Forbes suggests you to keep the receipt safe with you long after you purchase rights for the web design.

We’re sure now you understand as a startup, why it’s so important to keep your website and design legal, you will be able to better protect yourself. And through these easy to comprehend tips, you’ll be able to avoid the common red flags.

Shruti GuptaAbout the Author:

Shruti Gupta works as a digital marketing manager for, world’s fastest-growing crowdsourcing platform for custom logo design, website designs, banner, social media designs and a host of other graphic designs. With profound professional, technical and people management skills, she has spent 7.5 years of extensive experience in SEO, affiliate marketing digital marketing, blogging, and content marketing.

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