Web Developer's liability to client's infractions?

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Web Developer's liability to client's infractions?

Post by nickvd »

I have been sent some content to be copy/pasted into my clients web site, including links to pages of where to grab images from. I didn't think twice about the content due to it being sent as word documents (no real proof, but not an obvious 'go here and steal that text'), but when I went to look at the images a little closer i noticed that most if not all the content I was sent was taken nearly verbatim from the page the images were coming from. Essentially, a complete copy of the page.

Am I able to be held liable in any way for things such as these? Who's responsibility is it to check out the copyrights on images and content provided to web developers? I have spoken with my client about this a few times when they've asked me to grab an image from a website... For now I am continuing to work and I am going to assume all copyrights have been cleared, but I wanted to throw this out there to see what others think..

just a note, I am in Canada, so US laws (afaik) wouldn't apply..
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Re: Web Developer's liability to client's infractions?

Post by allspiritseve »

I'm not familiar with Canadian laws, but if I were you, I would check with the client to make sure they have permission to use the images and text BEFORE you put them up on the client's site. They may not even know it is copyright infringement.
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Re: Web Developer's liability to client's infractions?

Post by mabwi »

Does your contract have an indemnity clause?

That basically says "if you break the law, Ican't be sued. If I break the law, you can't be sued." If that's not there, you can get nailed. It might not hurt to talk to a lawyer for the general case, although in this SPECIFIC case, anything that happens will likely be a takedown/cease & desist notice, not a lawsuit.
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Re: Web Developer's liability to client's infractions?

Post by pickle »

Truth is - you're technically the one putting that stuff online, not the client.

I'm a webmaster that sometimes gets put in that same position. If ever it looks like copy might not be original, I ask if we have the right to post it online & I make sure to get a response in an email. That way I can at the very least claim due diligence. It probably won't protect me absolutely, but certainly more than just blindly assuming rights have been granted.
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Re: Web Developer's liability to client's infractions?

Post by josh »

I would just do it, if you need the money that is... In fact I would write a data scraper script instead of manually copying it. All you did was aggregate content for them, they're the ones trying to profit off it. It's not their fault what they decide to do. That is not to say you're immune from having to pay a bunch of legal fees to defend yourself if anything did happen.
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