Protecting your content

16 replies
For those of you that are web designers:

How do you present a draft or mockup of your web design, while at the same time preventing your prospective client from stealing your image or design and taking it to one of your competitors?
#content #protect #protecting
  • Profile picture of the author P1
    1. You can watermark it within Photoshop.
    2. Do a walk-through template on video.

    As for them stealing your design idea you can't stop that.
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  • Profile picture of the author jamesvick
    video or a small flash output should do the work. Or just create a image of all the pages with watermark (like p1 said). A much better approach is to record the screen while you are using the template (using camtasia or something).
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  • Profile picture of the author pbarnhart
    I have a simple statement on my client's contract that if I don't get the dev work, the design can be licensed in perpetuity for XX$ but that the license is not exclusive. ONCE I had a client steal a design and give it to another design firm. I asked them for the license fee and took them to small claims court when they ignored me. Won the fee plus expenses.

    I almost always have kill fees in my work - inspired from my days as a freelance writer.
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  • Profile picture of the author John Durham
    While we give too much energy to "protecting" we are failing to progress. Dont worry about it. Thats my two cents. The world is a big place there are more clients, more designs in your bottomless well of creativity...and ultimately where there is a will there is a way for people who want to steal. Let them be fakes, and you be real... They will never be in your league.

    No one can hurt you, they can copy you but they cant hurt you if you keep your eyes on the prize.

    I see my content in all kinds of places, but nobody can be me....and nobody can be you.

    They will use your content to get their own customers, but they cant touch YOUR market share, and you can still hit whatever objective you aim at.

    Ps. The people who do that are exceptions. We dont succeed by basing our plans off of the exceptions (they are the minority percentage), we succeed by basing our plans off the rules rather.

    Variables will come like that...but just pay attention to the majority that rules, and figure a bit of loss into your equation and dont be worried by it.
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    • Profile picture of the author itzpaul
      I have heard Tyler say that before and I need to get it in my head. It's definitely, true and something to live by.

      I would also suggest that you should get at least 50% of the payment upfront before you start any work. So if they do run off with your design, you were paid the 50%.
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      • Profile picture of the author ClarkKent
        Originally Posted by itzpaul View Post

        I have heard Tyler say that before and I need to get it in my head. It's definitely, true and something to live by.

        I would also suggest that you should get at least 50% of the payment upfront before you start any work. So if they do run off with your design, you were paid the 50%.
        That's a LOT easier said than done.
        I usually work on a milestone system that's usually used in development.

        25% after wireframe
        25% on the lorem-ipsum usable development copy
        40% on live website
        10% after changes (I specify very clearly what counts as a change request in my development contract).
        This is what I use for projects >$1000

        For <$1000
        I would use:
        50% on the lorem-ipsum usable development copy
        50% on live website

        I also have a $99 deposit for large jobs that will take more than a week to get to Milestone 1.

        Originally Posted by pbarnhart View Post

        I have a simple statement on my client's contract that if I don't get the dev work, the design can be licensed in perpetuity for XX$ but that the license is not exclusive. ONCE I had a client steal a design and give it to another design firm. I asked them for the license fee and took them to small claims court when they ignored me. Won the fee plus expenses.

        I almost always have kill fees in my work - inspired from my days as a freelance writer.
        Kill licenses are essential.
        If I was doing a design only contract where that was agreed upon beforehand, it may be an agreement like yours.
        $40 perpetual license, have fun, make your website. If you need any help feel free to give us a shout.

        If I was doing a development contract though and they backed out after receiving their wireframe, my licensing agreement would read:
        - We retain ownership of the copyright of the work unless they pay the exclusive licensing agreement (usually around 40%-50% of the project).

        - If I did find that the business owner used my wireframes I would start by calling and emailing the owner.
        - If I was ignored, I would check with the firm that supplied the development, let them know the situation (as often times these firms don't know of where the wireframes came from), to see if they could step in and reason with the business owner.

        - If I was ignored up to this point I would send a DMCA notification to the business owner.
        - If I was still ignored, I would send a DMCA notification to the business owner's web host (which usually will result in an automatic takedown of their website, and a week long written arbitration if they fight it - which they won't be able to because you have documentation stating the website's design in yours).
        - I would further take this business to small claims court (or not if they're not a local business).

        - Further, if the web developers ignored me I would also send them and then their web host DMCA notifications if they displayed the work in their Portfolio pages.

        This has not happened to me thankfully, but I put all these barriers in place in case I ever get screwed (as I'm currently in the process of hiring sales reps, and if the client screws me, it would be unfair to punish the reps - as their job is to sell, and mine is to manage the customers they bring in).
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  • Profile picture of the author localvseo
    I agree with the above posts. I think worrying about copying/stealing etc. is something that should be thought out and best practices done to prevent it as much as possible. But at the end of the day, once you figure it out, move forward building your business. Otherwise one could become spending huge amounts of time trying to protect assets and not focused on growing.
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    • I have a friend of mine that uses a laptop or an electronic tablet so his prospects can see what it looks like in a web format. It's a virtual sample.

      He also keeps any mockups off the Internet. He said that when he switched over to using his electronic devices, his theft rate dropped to 0%.

      If his prospects or clients wanted a copy they would have to pay first before he parted with his creation.

      Peace and Success to you
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      SEO Content Marketing Writer
      Online Writing Portfolio
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  • Profile picture of the author Bruce99
    I have worked in one of the dodgiest webfirms around. They use slave labor OS to make the sites and treat their local clients like idiots, But they have good advertising and are connected in the industry.

    What should really count, if you are in the ball park for funds, is the connection you have with the potential clients. If your sales people dont care about your company or the client, and your account managers are clueless, then showing a potential client a great design can easily get it stolen. Treat your clients with respect and really get into their world and over deliver on service, and you will keep them forever (or until you really get under cut).
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    just a dog guy.

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  • Profile picture of the author jannet1
    I think you need to use watermark on your photo, it will definitely protect your contents for stealing ....
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  • Profile picture of the author solarwarrior
    try to offer incredible values in your initial offer or give "sneak bonus" to encourage users to purchase your original content. They work most of the times.
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  • Profile picture of the author Peter Olson
    50% up front.... done. I dont think i've ever done a website without getting at least 50% upfront (if its under 5k).
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    • Profile picture of the author babaandey
      Protecting Content is very necessary things when you give information to users. Here all method is discussed but i like to ask this method is useful for WordPress blog or site. If it is possible then what we have to do?
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  • Profile picture of the author athanne
    Content protection can be cabbed when you use watermark on your photo. But I wonder how fur this and any other method employed will go before it in-counter brains. Personally I agree with John Durham that we rather use the much time we put in devising protection means into acquiring more clients. Once you charm the clients you are assured even if somebody else tries to copy you.
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  • Profile picture of the author jagwardhan
    All methods i tried and saved my online content to go in wrong hand so i thanks! to all who share this awesome idea to protect your online property.
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  • Profile picture of the author jeffsmith1
    Banned
    [DELETED]
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