Hello and thank you for taking my question. My question is multifaceted, so I'll try to be as informative but as concise as possible. My question is in regards ***** ***** ownership of a online domain (a website) and who owns what within the website.
The firs thing I'd like to highlight is that absolutely nothing we did was ever in official writing. No contracts
were made. Everything was just talked about verbally or through text. We spoke of making a contract eventually, but never did it get beyond that.
A friend and I made a website together. The friend is an up and coming artist and Im just a regular guy. I offered to create the website for him. I created the website during my spare time. I paid for the website and created all of the content within the website. The website is his artist name. For example purposes I'll just say it was www.bigsanta.com. The website went up and we used it together for business
to promote his art. He had a business e-mail that the website used as well.
The purpose of the website, was to give the artist a central point for things that already existed within social media. It had his Facebook, Twitter, etc. All in one location. But all of it still existed independently of the website. The website generated no revenue. We sold nothing and we also did not advertise for anyone on the website. It was just for his promotional purposes. The website had very little content.
The website was up for a few months until we disbanded. When we disbanded, all his contact was changed on all social media and then I took down the website.
Now as far as I can tell, I am the registered owner of the website. The artist is claiming that he owns the rights to his name, domain, and publicity. So he believes that he is entitled to the website. I'm trying to figure out, within the eyes of the law, who is the legal owner of the website? Should I be the legal owner of the website, is it still possible for him to sue me to obtain the website? I'd also like to know that since we just agreed as friends to do this together, am I able to at least claim payment for my time creating the website or have him reimburse me for the cost of the website?
Also, along those lines, a lot of e-mails came through on the website. Even if I legally own the website, does he have legal ownership of e-mails addressed to him? Does he have legal ownership of the e-mail that is associated to the website?
I think that covers it. Thank you so much for your time.