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Who should rightfully own my website between these two people?

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  • Who should rightfully own my website between these two people?

    I shall give them the fake names "Bob" and "Tom."

    Bob: Bob is a co-worker who reached out to me to do a website for an amateur sports team. Bob paid me for the website. I did the website's foundation and I then allowed Bob to add the rest of the content, including his own logo and photography. Bob was involved with me on the website from concept to finalization. Bob is now having a falling out with...

    Tom: Tom is the owner of the sports team. He no longer likes Bob. He wants Bob to give him the username/password. Tom did nothing whatsoever to the website. When talks with Bob became slow, Tom reached out to me and is muscling me into giving him the username/password to "his" website...

    ReMeDy: I'm the web designer. I purchased and own the domain name and never signed it over to anyone (yet).

    Who wins? What should I do? I believe the absolute worst scenario is Tom can force the website to be taken offline, but otherwise, I'm pretty sure he has no rights to the username/password, despite his ownership of the sports team.
    Last edited by ReMeDy; 07-24-2014, 06:49 PM.

  • #2
    Bob owns the content of the website and you own the domain name. Tom has no rights here whatsoever. It's an amateur sports team and unless the logo is registered, that's about all that can be taken down. Fan sites are all over the place. This would be considered just one more if Tom doesn't pay Bob to run the site.
    Cat-herder Extraordinaire

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    • #3
      Did you sign a contract for your work? That should make it clear.

      If not, who is paying you for your services? Thats who it belongs to.

      The answer to this should be Bob, I cant see any reason why Tom would be a party to this transaction.

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      • #4
        To those interested, Bob has decided to let Tom have full ownership and has given me permission to release the username/passwords. The exact reason why Bob chose to do this is unknown. Perhaps Bob was just sick of the drama. Regardless, I trust his judgement, and frankly, it isn't any of my business to ask why. The important thing is I got paid, and it's nice the two came to some kind of conclusion.

        I'm in the process of signing over the website to Tom. Tom was anxious to get the username/passwords, but is in no hurry to have the website in his name. Funny how that works, lol.

        Originally posted by splitice View Post
        Did you sign a contract for your work? That should make it clear.
        I don't know anything about what Bob and Tom did under the table. All I know is Bob asked me to do a website for a baseball team. He paid me. I sent him a PayPal invoice, and he paid the money in his name. For the future, should I be more involved in the contract process? I was under the impression it's none of my business, as long as I'm getting paid.
        Last edited by ReMeDy; 08-18-2014, 06:54 PM.

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        • #5
          You should always have a contract or atleast a written record for your work. How else would you ensure you got paid?

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          • #6
            I would put the domain name is Tom's name, too. I can't see me paying for a domain that I'm not allowed to touch, but that's just me.
            Cat-herder Extraordinaire

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