web page ownership?

  conrail 16:49 01 Sep 2005

I have created a web page for a local amateur dramatic group, not yet uploaded due to waiting for a new committee, at the recent AGM the new committee were happy about it as I have begged/borrowed photos and programs off all the members so all members knew I was doing it, the new committee are now being a bit funny, they seem concerned about confidentiality, they don't want contact details on the site for some reason which is their choice and I am happy just to put my email address, now they are nit picking over the site without seeing it, I have offered to put it on a laptop and show them but they don't seem interested in viewing it, my query is, is the site mine and can I publish the site or do I need their permission?

  Forum Editor 19:35 01 Sep 2005

in terms of a definitive answer, but here goes.

1. You own the copyright on any original work that is your own creation, and - providing the content isn't in any way illegal - you may publish and/or distribute said work in any way you see fit. The content of a website is classed as an original work in this context.

2. Copyright in images is the propery of the person or people who created them - the photographers. A photographer owns copyright in any images he/she takes, even if they are of individuals, and the photograph was taken without the person's consent. The individual may not prohibit publication or distribution.

3. If you were acting as someone else's agent when you created the site - whether or not you were paid - you might find that your copyright claim isn't valid. The person or organisation for whom you were acting may have a claim to the copyright in the content. Usually such matters are the subject of a preconditional agreement - a web designer might assign the copyright to the site's owner on condition that a fee is paid. If no such fee was payable, but you were acting as a member of the Dramatic society, and designed the site on your own initiative you should be on fairly safe ground - you'll own the copyright, and may publish the site to a server. It's usual in such circumstances to place a discalimer on the homepage, making it clear that the site is 'unofficial'.

4. You must not publish the private email addresses or postal addresses and telephone numbers of individuals without their prior consent - to do so is to invite trouble, although you would not be acting illegally. That would only be the case if you were required to register as a data controller with the Office of the Information Commissioner.

Try to resolve this amicably if you can - it's not worth alienating other people for the sake of a Dramatic society web site.

  conrail 10:19 02 Sep 2005

Thanks Forum Editor, you have cleared this up for me.

re 2: a lot of the photos I have taken, usually during a dress rehearsal when everybody uses anybody's and everybody's cameras so all members get photos to keep so I cannot see a problem there, this is usually photos of each person on stage who for obvious reasons cannot take the photo

I have submitted a letter to the committee stating what I would like contact telephone numbers and/or email address for the site but not mail address's, I have also said it is entirely voluntary and I would not publish these details unless they agreed,

I have since found that a member of the committee is publishing his own web site so this may be whey I am not getting the support, other members of the society have asked me to inform them when the site is online so I feel that if the committee don't want to give me contact details that is up to them but I will publish the site with the 3 email address I have, 2 of whom are on the committee and have given their permission, the 3rd is mine.

Once up and running I will probably post a request on this forum for members to view the site and give their opinions as this is my 1st web site and look constructive criticism from the members.

  Forum Editor 19:07 02 Sep 2005

Let's see what happens - maybe you'll feel like publishing a link to your site when it's online, so we can take a look?

  Forum Editor 23:26 02 Sep 2005

on the subject of photographs. In general terms you must avoid photographing individuals if the circumstances would involve intruding on their privacy to do it.

This means that it's OK to photograph a person in a football crowd (and to publish without their consent), but it's not acceptable to photograph the same individual swimming naked in his/her private pool if you take the picture from the top of a tree in the neighbour's garden.

Let common sense, and common decency be your guide.

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