Legal Question in Technology Law in Pennsylvania

Website Link

I created a website for an individuals business and turned the files over to him, he now owns the copyright to the site. Is it legal to link my website to his on my portfolio page?



Asked on 1/26/06, 1:46 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Roger Traversa Arjont Group (Law Office of Roger Traversa)

Re: Website Link

He doesn't own the copyright unless you have an agreement in writing that transfers the copyright to him. An oral agreement is insufficient and the transfer must be in writing.

To answer your specific question, yes, it is legal for you to link to his website as a demonstration of your portfolio is where you were using his content directly to make a profit.

Hope that helps.

If I can help you with this or any other legal matter please feel free to contact me.

By the by, I am looking for a web designer and would be interetsed in seeing your work. My current web site is pretty horrendous (I'm a lawyer, not an artist). See it at

Contact me and we can speak further.


Roger Traversa

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Answered on 1/26/06, 2:29 pm
Gerry Elman Elman Technology Law, P.C.

Re: Website Link

I think you are saying that you have your own website, and one if its pages is a "portfolio" containing links pointing to work you have previously done.

Each link would contain a web address of somebody's website, namely a website which you set up for a client.

When you refer to "linking" you mean that the web address on your site would be "live" and that if someone visiting your site points to and clicks on that link, his browser would then access the website of that address.

I do not know of any legal principle that would generally prevent a web designer from doing this, in the absence of an agreement to the contrary. Of course it would not be proper to imply that one has designed a website if she hasn't actually done that work, and it would be appropriate to check periodically to confirm that the website is still representative of one's handiwork.

Also, there are certain professions, such as being a lawyer, where one is obliged to keep the identity of one's clients confidential unless they expressly permit it. If one is in such a profession, or if one has agreed with the client to maintain confidentiality, then one is obliged to refrain from placing such a link without permission on one's website.

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Answered on 1/26/06, 4:12 pm

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