Legal Question in Technology Law in New York
My friend made me a website as a gift. She lived with me as a roommate, I would fitness train her and make her healthy lunches. As a favor back she built my website. I fully paid for the website and everything for the website was is made in my name and email and my payment. Nothing was ever written in agreement. The website is branded by her and fully her work. The content about nutrition is mine. But the design and layout is designed by her. Her name is on the website showing the design. We had a falling out, and she is very malicious and wants me to have her website design back. She has given me until july 6th to take down the website because it is her work or will take legal action. what should I do?
1 Answer from Attorneys
Of course, no one here can offer any conclusions and if this is of serious concern, all you can do at this point is to have your own lawyer conduct a proper evaluation of the matter and offer a best course of action.
That said, and without any written agreement, while she would retain the underlying IP rights to her creative [removed]the designs, etc.), you received an implied license by operation of law to use these designs for their intended purpose and she does not now enjoy the right to take them back. That is not how it works. Further, she cannot do anything to frustrate your use of this material such as compete with you or license the same designs to a competitor. If she has some dispute regards to payment for these services that is a different question and one that will fall back to contract law. There could be nuances in play here that may make a difference as well.
The recommended approach to this situation is to have a lawyer conduct a case/matter analysis and send her a written response letting her know where you stand legally. You cannot rely on my cursory understanding of your situation.
If you would like to discuss further over a free phone consult, feel free to contact me anytime that is convenient.
DISCLAIMER: this is not intended to be specific legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. No attorney-client relationship is formed on the basis of this posting.