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Thread: Judgement Call: Right or Wrong?
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Old 07-25-2003, 07:35 PM   #1
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Judgement Call: Right or Wrong?

Let's say you & someone else went into business & you made a website for that business. You later decide to leave the business. Do you have the right to take the website with you?

You never asked for payment before because you were apart of the team. Now you have left the team & still have not recieved payment for the website, however, you made the website for the business. Is it wrong of the other guy to continue to use the web site you had made against your will?


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Old 07-25-2003, 08:28 PM   #2
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Well to be perfectly honest, since this is in regards to something that was not done for profit and there are no legally binding contracts the same logic that would apply to this situation in the business world will not apply here.

if this were a real business situation you would have signed a contract stating all work created for this project by you (site design etc.) would be property of "said company" even before you got started on it.

No different than a person being contracted to design a site for amazon.com.

Once the contract is up be it pre mature or not, the design and intellectual property of the artist for that project now belongs to amazon.com.


Since this was something done "just for fun" between two people and not for profit it just comes down to personal ethics.

If you site design was the key "selling factor" in that mod then I would say continue trying to get him to stop using it.

But if this is just a personal grudge and if the site design didn't factor into the promotion or popularity of the mod I have to ask why both fighting over it other than spite?

If you have moved on to a new project and are happy with this new project just cut your losses so to speak and focus your creative talent on the new sit/mod.
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Old 07-25-2003, 11:51 PM   #3
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Payment is not always legal tender. In this case it would be the right to use the source code. Bottom line here is he feels it's okay for him to use my work but not vice versa.

I just feel that because I have made it, it is my property & whether or not it is ever "Duelers property" is at my discretion & no one elses. Just because you make something for the project, that doesn't mean it belongs to the project. I would have no problem with sharing my work if he was willing to share his, but that is not the case.


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Old 07-26-2003, 01:36 AM   #4
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Thumbs up both

I agree you deserve they credit for the work you did. But I would forget it and move on. You will remember this and I doubt you will let it happen again. Good lesson.

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Old 07-26-2003, 04:51 AM   #5
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It's beside the point. People still see validation in his actions & I don't think this is much more than a "no brainer".

Just because you make something for a project, that doesn't mean the owner of the project owns your work as well. If you had bought a car & you let other employees use the car for work purposes, that doesn't mean the company gets to keep your car if you leave the company. I would have thought it was common knowledge that whomever makes the site is the owner.

I had told him that my work goes with me if I leave because I wanted to be a nice guy & give him pre-warning. Instead he used it against me & stole my site.


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Old 08-11-2003, 12:22 PM   #6
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I am leaving this post everywhere so everyone knows what the deal is, why I haven't been posting, etc; etc.

First off, I have been dealing with real life issues. I have been helping some people move, helping others with their computers, basically helping everyone but myself. I am now back to work & the site is up & running. I am hoping to have Cool Mods for JK2 out this week, then start on CM for JK3.

Secondly, I spoke to soon about copyright laws, there are copyright laws for this sort of thing & my work is protected under copyright law at the moment. Legally, Lee can not claim my website as "Duelers property" without my written consent. As for the other mods, I still need to do some homework on all that, it will be more technical considering others work is involved as well. Either way though, I should be able to copyright my version of everyones work without too much difficulty.

Thirdly, I am not going to be contributing to this thread anymore because I plan on starting new ones with more information once I have had the time to collect my thoughts & figure out the best way of saying it (hopefully without having a book for everyone to read). I also need to get to do more studying on the laws & whatnot & quite possibly speak with some copyright lawyers.

After this is all said & done I am planning on sharing what I have learned. I want everyone copyrighting their work or at least knowing the law, this way you guys don't get anyone stealing your work as well.


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Old 08-11-2003, 03:23 PM   #7
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In the business/high tech world that I am in you would have no claim to the site. It was done for the company, and even if you stayed you would not own it. This is regardless of whether you got payed for it or not. The business would be under no obligation to give you credit for the site, and payment is in essense "giving credit".

You may have set up a different arrangement when starting the project, but in the "real world" you would have no claim to it.
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Old 08-12-2003, 08:47 AM   #8
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Wanna bet? Try reading the copyright laws sometime, you can find them at http://www.loc.gov/copyright/. I am most certainly protected via U.S. copyright law with my site. I am getting together with a lawyer to find out more info in regards to the mods & possibly a lawsuit.


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Old 08-12-2003, 07:20 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by Marker0077
Wanna bet?
Sure!

Quote:
Originally posted by Marker0077
Try reading the copyright laws sometime, you can find them at http://www.loc.gov/copyright/. I am most certainly protected via U.S. copyright law with my site.
Being in the hi-tech industry has lead me to pick up some knowledge about copyright. I did check out that site, though, and it is indeed a good reference.

Here is what I said previously:

"In the business/high tech world that I am in you would have no claim to the site. It was done for the company, and even if you stayed you would not own it. This is regardless of whether you got payed for it or not."

I am going on the assumption that this is an employer/employee relationship because you said you, "made a website for that business. You later decide to leave the business." So I gathered that your work was done for the company.

On the website you gave me it states under "copyright basics" that:

"In the case of works made for hire, the employer and not the employee is considered to be the author. Section 101 of the copyright law defines a "work made for hire" as:

(1) a work prepared by an employee within the scope of his or her employment; or
(2) a work specially ordered or commissioned for use as: a contribution to a collective work (and so on)"


So is what I stated not correct? I know that in my case the work I do is owned by my company, and I have no claim to it. If I leave the company, the company still owns my code.

Now, you will note that I also said that you may have set up a different arrangement when starting the project. I am going on some assumptions here. If you are in fact a co-owner of the project, then the copyright for any work that is done for it is co-owned by you, as stated on the website:

"The authors of a joint work are co-owners of the copyright in the work."

This also means that whoever else co-owns the project also has a claim to it.

Quote:
Originally posted by Marker0077
I am getting together with a lawyer to find out more info in regards to the mods & possibly a lawsuit.
Is the site worth spending a lot of money over? It's a judgement call for you. Lawyers are not cheap by any stretch. When we bought our house it was $500 just to talk to them. Just making a new site might be much cheaper.

Quote:
Originally posted by Marker0077
I just feel that because I have made it, it is my property & whether or not it is ever "Duelers property" is at my discretion & no one elses. Just because you make something for the project, that doesn't mean it belongs to the project.
Again, in the employee/employer situation, you would not have any claim to it because it would belong to whoever owns the Duelers project. If that is not you, and you did the work for that project, you would not own the copyright. If you decide to leave, the work you did still belongs to that project.

Quote:
Originally posted by Marker0077
If you had bought a car & you let other employees use the car for work purposes, that doesn't mean the company gets to keep your car if you leave the company.
Of course not, because the car does not belong to the company. But if the car was bought for the company, the employee would have no claim to it, especially when they left.

Quote:
Originally posted by Marker0077
I would have thought it was common knowledge that whomever makes the site is the owner.
As you can see from the website you mentioned, whoever the work was done for is the owner. Web designers I know have no claim to the sites they create for companies. The company owns it entirely. Take JO for example. There were many people who write code and create models. They have no claim to those works, because they belong to Lucasarts/Raven. If an employee leaves, he does not take his Reborn model with him

Quote:
Originally posted by Marker0077
I also need to get to do more studying on the laws & whatnot
This is definitely a good idea (I am not being sarcastic here. It really is a good idea). Knowledge in this area is never a bad thing. You know the situation better than I, so you can find the information that is most relevent to you.

I am not trying to take anybody's side here, so dont' take it as an attack. I am merely trying to show how things work in the generic situation I described, and how I think it applies to your case.
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Old 08-15-2003, 07:36 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by Prime
So is what I stated not correct?
No it wasn't. First off, we were partners - I didn't work for him.

Secondly, he wants to claim the site as "Duelers property" because he thinks I made the site for Duelers & that is not entirely true. The fact of the matter is I would have made the site whether I was on the project or not. If not for Duelers, for Cool Mods (which I am doing now).

Thirdly, this can't be considered "work for hire" because there were no contracts or anything like that. Everything was verbal agreements, which you should know as well as I do, verbal agreements won't hold up in court. If he would have honored our original agreement & permitted me use of the source code (i.e. sharing his portion of the project), I would have not only had no problem with allowing him to use my work - I would have given it future updates! He declined the offer. Since he doesn't want to share his work, I do not see why I am obligated to share mine.
Quote:
Originally posted by Prime
Is the site worth spending a lot of money over?
The site is not the point. The guy is getting a bad rap in the JK community for the crap he's pulled, now I'm looking into a lawsuit as well. The site took me all of a week to build, most of which was learning how to make sites (lol).

The point is, don't screw over your partners. I worked with this guy for over 5 months & even when he refused to honor our verbal agreement, I was still willing to just let him take his work & let me take mine & that would have been the end of it. I have tried to work out numerous negotiations with the man & he refuses to be reasonable - now it's my turn to not be reasonable.
Quote:
Originally posted by Prime
It's a judgement call for you. Lawyers are not cheap by any stretch.
Who cares, I'm not the one footing the bill - he is (in the end anyway). As for the foot of the bill in the beginning, I have family that have been process serving & whatnot for years. I have family that can call in favors as far as legality goes.
Quote:
Originally posted by Prime
Again, in the employee/employer situation, you would not have any claim to it because it would belong to whoever owns the Duelers project.
Right, well like I said, I didn't work for the guy, we were partners. There are no contracts or anything like that so it's my word against his. As far as the actual owner of the website, there are certain things I can produce that he can not even if he did try & play it out like he was the original author; Then I would get him for fraud & copyright infringement.
Quote:
Originally posted by Prime
I am not trying to take anybody's side here, so dont' take it as an attack. I am merely trying to show how things work in the generic situation I described, and how I think it applies to your case.
Right, well I appreciate your feedback. Normally I wouldn't care one way or the other but this guy is just too much. I try to be nice & he just screws me over & I've had it, time to screw him back some.


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Old 08-15-2003, 09:16 AM   #11
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dunno, but where i live verbal agreements are binding and will hold up in court.

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Old 08-15-2003, 02:09 PM   #12
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Stealing ideas is nothing but the work of a madman who would do anything it takes to obtain said objects, such as in this case, your work rightfully belongs to you and this guy is obviously nothing but a fraud. He steals your work, so its up to you and the Law to regain what has wrongfully been taken without said permission. So yeah, I'd kick his *** with a lawsuit if I were you.


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Old 08-16-2003, 03:33 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by Marker0077
Secondly, he wants to claim the site as "Duelers property" because he thinks I made the site for Duelers & that is not entirely true. The fact of the matter is I would have made the site whether I was on the project or not. If not for Duelers, for Cool Mods (which I am doing now).
Well, what you would have done done doesn't really matter, does it? It is what you did do. Did you not make the site for Duelers Mod, which this other guy was also a co-owner of? Like I posted above, copyright-wise since you made the site for that project and you are both part owners, he also has co-ownership of the copyright.

If the work was done for the project, which you both owned and did work for, then the copyright for that work is owned by the company, not the individual. While you both "owned" the company, you both were co-copyright owners. Now, if you left and he still was the owner of Duelers Mod, then the copyright still belongs to Duelers mod, which he now owns.

Remember, you don't need to have actually created the work to own the copyright (like publishing companies).

Quote:
Originally posted by Marker0077
Thirdly, this can't be considered "work for hire" because there were no contracts or anything like that. Everything was verbal agreements, which you should know as well as I do, verbal agreements won't hold up in court.
But this is incorrect. Verbal agreements are certainly legally binding contracts in every sense of the word.

"Does a contract have to be in writing to be enforceable?

Contrary to popular belief, as a general rule, the answer is "no." A verbal agreement can create a legally binding contract.

Western Carolina Universiry - Legal Council

"A verbal agreement is legally every bit as effective as a written one"
Legal Eagle

The value of a written contract is that it clearely defines the actual agreement, in case that agreement needs to be reviewed. But it is no more legally binding than a verbal one.

Quote:
Originally posted by Marker0077
I try to be nice & he just screws me over & I've had it, time to screw him back some.
Got to love American justice
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Old 08-19-2003, 05:03 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by Prime
Well, what you would have done done doesn't really matter, does it? It is what you did do. Did you not make the site for Duelers Mod, which this other guy was also a co-owner of?
I made the site for myself & used it for Duelers. If you are going to say he has ownership over my work because we were a team, then at the same time I would ownership over his work as well. Hell, if he would have permitted me to use his work, this would have never been an issue in the first place.
Quote:
Originally posted by Prime
Like I posted above, copyright-wise since you made the site for that project and you are both part owners, he also has co-ownership of the copyright.
Not really. This is not work for hire, there are no signed contracts or anything like that so realistically, I have all legal right.
Quote:
Originally posted by Prime
If the work was done for the project, which you both owned and did work for, then the copyright for that work is owned by the company, not the individual. While you both "owned" the company, you both were co-copyright owners. Now, if you left and he still was the owner of Duelers Mod, then the copyright still belongs to Duelers mod, which he now owns.
Well, it's really six in 1 hand & half dozen in the other to say I made the site for Duelers or I made the site for myself & it used it for Duelers. Again, if you are going to say he has right over my work then I should have right over his. There are no contracts & the only verbal agreement we had, he broke.
Quote:
Originally posted by Prime
But this is incorrect. Verbal agreements are certainly legally binding contracts in every sense of the word.
It's his word against mine, I highly doubt it would hold up in court. Realistically, you need to have a signed contract or something to that referance.

Either way though, he broke the agreement - not me. I do not see me being in the wrong here, morally or legally.
Quote:
Originally posted by Prime
"Does a contract have to be in writing to be enforceable?

Contrary to popular belief, as a general rule, the answer is "no." A verbal agreement can create a legally binding contract.

Western Carolina Universiry - Legal Council

"A verbal agreement is legally every bit as effective as a written one"
Legal Eagle

The value of a written contract is that it clearely defines the actual agreement, in case that agreement needs to be reviewed. But it is no more legally binding than a verbal one.

Got to love American justice
Well I will certainly look into it but again, I highly doubt that is the case. In court, it's all about what you can prove & a verbal agreement is his word against mine, what's to stop him from saying I'm lying?

I do have another way of proving that we had the agreement, however, I would rather not do that & I can't say why I don't want to do that because if I do, it's the same as saying what it is (you can figure out one is by the other).


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Old 09-25-2005, 09:55 AM   #15
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i totally agree this should be in the swamp i mean wot the hel has this got to do with jedi knight star wars films entertainment or anything for that matter
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Old 09-25-2005, 06:34 PM   #16
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Way to dig up a thread that's over two years old just to post crap.
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Old 09-26-2005, 10:55 AM   #17
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true true didn't realise i don't exactly check all the dates of the posts before i reply ya know


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