Question about copyright

I have an upcoming project that I’ll likely be starting on soon. I had an initial meeting with the client and we’ve been discussing site outline, potential pages, etc. When I told him about expectations around content (i.e. that he’d be responsible for the majority and I could edit, wordsmith if needed) he mentioned a few sites that he could get content from.
I received an email last night that had a few pages of potential content. I did a random sample of one paragraph and it looks like it’s been lifted from another site. Almost word for word.
I won’t get into the merits of that (i’m sure we’re all on the same page regarding taking other people’s work) and I imagine I will gently suggest he reconsider his words.

However, I am wondering if the onus falls on the site owner or the site developer when there is duplicated content. Any personal experience out there?

It’s really the owner’s responsibility but you should certainly mention it to him.

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Tough call on that really… if you’re the developer and have no proof that the content submitted by the client is from them, then I suppose you could be the one on the hook.

Really depends on what you have in your contract with the client… perhaps it is time to modify your contract to incorporate such things as this to CYA…


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i’d be rather careful taking that copy and using it. a friend of mine (this is in germany) got into quite some hot and expensive water doing just that, taking “lifted” copy from a client because said client refused all knowledge of this copy.
caveat empteor, tomas


Thanks all for your feedback. This is all very much a side business / hobby right now so it’s been all pretty “handshakey” and informal with other projects up to this point. It makes sense to try and come up with some stock wording that I can pass along as a, as brad says, CYA measure.

On the plus side, this is the first time I’ve never had to nag for content haha.