Virginia  |  Intellectual Property

Legal Question

Asked on: 6/13/06, 2:33 pm

Volunteered to do website. What is mine?

I volunteered to design a website. I wrote the code, got the site up and going and installed a bulletin board. While this person described features they wanted, frequently they were things that should not be done, i.e. poor design that would lead to problems. So my involvement was design, management, design consultation, admin. of bulletin board, to name a few. There was no written agreement for anything. After a year, I asked to “unvolunteer”. This person got mad but still wanted to use the site. At first, I agreed and gave them access to the hosting account. Then I came to my senses & realized that the whole template was my work. I couldn’t see them just walking away with it.I sent a letter telling them I was taking what was mine. I asked them to delete any files they had of anything that was my creation or property and not use it. I discovered that while they had access to the hosting account they made a backup of the database of the bulletin board and they now have it up on another site.

Since I volunteered, what recourse do I have? Can I demand that they return the database and take down the bulletin board? What rights to I have?

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