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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.
Having said that if I were buying a site I would expect it to include the contents.
joined:Dec 10, 2005
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.
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.