How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Attorney Wayne Your Own Question

Attorney Wayne
Attorney Wayne, Lawyer
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 1506
Experience:  Practicing Law Since 2000
23192590
Type Your Intellectual Property Law Question Here...
Attorney Wayne is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

We paid a php developer to create a php file for us to use

Resolved Question:

We paid a php developer to create a php file for us to use and he gave us full rights to the file and everything. We integrated this php file into our hosting and about a 2-3 weeks later we found out that someone had stolen the file, the hosting didnt have correct .htaccess setup so they just right clicked and downloaded the file, kept the file the same name and are getting the same error we were getting before we had it fixed. We have proof we own the file with logs of transations and file dates stamps as well as conversation about the file being created for us and for only our use between us and the dev. How would we go about asking them to take down the file and if they dont, whats the best course of action as they are using the file to bring in donations?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Expert:  Attorney Wayne replied 2 years ago.
Hello. Thanks for contacting us.

The key question here is who owns the copyright. The copyright begins once something is created and put in a tangible form (not just an idea in someone's mind).

If a developer assigns or transfers rights to an organization (or if the organization can show it was a "work for hire") then it owns the copyright.

If this is the case, the first thing I would do is register the app with the US copyright office. Registration is the prerequisite to legal actions to enforce a copyright.

Its not very expensive, and it can be done online:
http://copyright.gov/eco/

There are several possible strategies from there.

They include:

(1) Using the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) notice and takedown procedure. For this, its necessary to notify whomever is hosting an infringing use of the program that there is infringement, and you are demanding it be taken down. Here are links with more details on the process:

http://theosmblog.com/2010/03/05/file-dmca-takedown-notice/

http://brainz.org/dmca-takedown-101/

The thing about 'notice and takedown' is that the infringer can claim there is no infringement and the material can then go back up.

Which means that it may be necessary to take stronger legal action (or one could do that in the first place -- depending on goals).

Here's where registration of a copyright is important. Registration is prerequisite for a law suit. Also, it allows to collect either the actual value of the infringed material lost due to the illegal use, or a set amount (its on a sliding scale), known as statutory damages. For non-blockbuster copyrighted things, the statutory damages can often prove more valuable -- to the tunes of thousands of dollars more valuable.

Its important to save any evidence of the infringement, including any email exchanges with the infringer.

Ultimately, it may be worthwhile to get a lawyer's help should the simple notice and takedown not suffice. Because of the statutory damages, you may find lawyers willing to take a strong case without upfront fees (known as "on contingency.") The lawyer gets paid as a percentage of the settlement or judgment once collected. While a winning plaintiff may pay more this way, since some cases are not successful, the costs and risks fall on the lawyer. Contingency cases are also a good way to evaluate a case. Most lawyers who do this kind of work don't want to waste time with cases that can't win.

I wish you all the best as you seek resolution in this matter.
Attorney Wayne, Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 1506
Experience: Practicing Law Since 2000
Attorney Wayne and 4 other Intellectual Property Law Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
< Last | Next >
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
  • My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer. Eric Redwood City, CA
  • I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight. Michael Wichita, KS
  • PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent. Three H. Houston, TX
  • Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!! Elaine Atlanta, GA
  • It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem. Tony Apopka, FL
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Alex Reese

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    2588
    Experienced in intellectual property law
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/sosolid007/2010-08-05_070536_Suitpic.jpg Alex Reese's Avatar

    Alex Reese

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    2588
    Experienced in intellectual property law
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/scottymacesq/2009-6-10_221523_small.jpg Robert McEwen, Esq.'s Avatar

    Robert McEwen, Esq.

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    387
    Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/tswartz123/2010-02-08_225658_Tommy.jpg Thomas Swartz's Avatar

    Thomas Swartz

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    374
    Twenty one years experience as a lawyer in New York and New Jersey. Former Appellate Law Clerk.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/dkaplun/2009-05-17_173121_headshot_1_2.jpg Dimitry K., Esq.'s Avatar

    Dimitry K., Esq.

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    371
    I assist my clients with IP questions that arise in their daily course of doing business.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/personwilt/2010-1-10_164828_person1.jpg Wilton A. Person's Avatar

    Wilton A. Person

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    339
    MBA, Experienced and Knowledgeable in Intellectual Property Law
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BA/bart0358/2012-1-23_232424_1056.64x64.JPG BartEsq's Avatar

    BartEsq

    Researcher

    Satisfied Customers:

    192
    Juris Doctor
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/IP/ipesq/2012-1-9_164431_RetouchPortraitHighResCopy.64x64.jpg ipesq's Avatar

    ipesq

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    134
    Specializing in patent prosecution, trademark and copyright registration/enforcement.
 
 
 

Related Intellectual Property Law Questions