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I have a dating site and i'm worried that i would be protected legally, if someone were to copy the templates, make i there own, and copy my dating service.
Macbeth, I would probably register a copyright for (both) the website, and any custom programming code utilized. As far as protecting your 'idea,' that is more along the lines of a patent than a copyright - which is unlikely you would be able to get.
If you are in the U.S. (and I believe in the UK as well), there is what is called a 'provisional patent' that allows you to efficiently file for a patent (about $200) and place 'patent pending' on the site to scare away a few prospective offenders. (a provisional patent is only good for 1 year and offers very little 'real' protection without further patent filings and substantial added costs).
Unfortunately - regardless of the protection - if you are successful, then I'm certain there will be many 'knockoffs' to contend with in the future.
Does anybody have a quick answer...
On issues of law there isn't one. There is a right answer and a wrong answer. To be sure you are getting the former and not the latter, you need to seek the advice of a lawyer.
[edited by: trillianjedi at 11:05 am (utc) on Feb. 25, 2005]
[edit reason] No self-promotional posts please - thanks [/edit]