the basic elements of E-Commerce business is the design and function of the
company web site. In designing and building your web site, the first thing to
be aware of is whether you own the web site presentation and content and every
aspect of IP in it. You may not, but thatís OK, you just need to know what
you own, what you have rights to use, and what you donít own or have rights to
use. If you are using a consultant or company to design your web site, check out
the provisions in the agreement concerning ownership and IP rights. Who owns the
web site design and text? Check out what obligations the company has to make
sure that it doesnít use any IP that belongs to a third party in the course of
are using a database, E-Commerce system, or search engine or other technical
Internet tools licensed to you by another company, check the terms in the
license agreement to see who owns the system. Make sure that you do have a
written agreement, and get it checked over by a lawyer before you sign it and
before any design, custom work or installation of the site begins.
will need written permission (also referred to as a license, a consent, or an
agreement) to use any photos, videos, music, voices, art work, or software, etc.
that belong to someone else. Just because you get material on the Internet
does not mean that it is in the public domain. You may have to pay for
permission to use these materials. In many countries you will need to
communicate with a collecting society or association of artists in order to get
will need to make sure that, if your countryís law (or the law that applies to
your business) requires it, that you have permission to show trademarks owned by
other companies that you refer to on your web site and that you recognize them.
not distribute or download any content or music on your web site that does not
belong to you unless you have obtained written permission from the owner
to distribute it on the Internet.
careful in linking to other web sites. Links are a great E-Commerce tool, and a
useful service to your customers, but in many countries there is no clear law on
when and how you can use links. The most careful practice is to seek and obtain
permission from the other site before putting in the link.
is a practice that is more controversial that linking. This means including
large parts of another web site in yours in a way that makes it look as though
it is part of your web site. Always get written permission before doing this.
More Information On Collecting Societies:
Collective Management of Copyright
and Related Rights
International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC)
- with information about collecting societies worldwide
American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP)
- providing electronic licensing with automated rate calculation
Broadcast Music Inc. (BMI)
- a well organized site providing information on music licensing needs of a
variety of businesses