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Buying a site

is the content included?

     
10:35 pm on Jul 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I bought a website recently. This included the domain name, and, I thought, the content. While I was given the content, the site owner subsequently copied all the content to a new domain name.

The cost was not great, and no formal contract was written up. I'm just wondering if it was my responsibility to inquire as to whether or not the owner was going to duplicate the site, or if "buying a website and domain name" is considered buying the rights to all the content.

6:50 am on July 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Like in any purchase I am afraid that it was your responsibility to agree just what you were paying for beforehand. It's a bit like buying a house and expecting the seller to leave the furniture without agreeing to do do.

Having said that if I were buying a site I would expect it to include the contents.

4:10 pm on July 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Without a formal contract, you would probably have to fight it out in the courts to show ownership. Local laws will probably dictate how they would side.

Was there any type of receipt issued? Any wording on that would probably be the focus for determining ownership. To me (not a lawyer), buying a "website" implies content & domain name (or possibly just the content), whereas buying a "domain" implies just the domain name.

Assuming the site is relatively old and the person only recently copied the content to another site, from a search engine standpoint, they would probably give you the nod for the "original" content and penalize the other site. But the person could always try to file a complaint complaining that the content was not part of the sale and that you "stole" it from him.

5:54 pm on July 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for the responses.

I actually do have something of a receipt, and the wording of the "for sale" ad seemed to leave little doubt that this was for the content + the domain name. I just never even thought to ask if the content was going to be copied and used elsewhere... so a lesson learned, as it wouldn't be worth the court costs to take legal action.

Something to think about for those who might be looking at buying established sites.

 

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