Do I Own The Website And All Associated Content Once The Contract Is Over?
The number of dentists who get burned by a website provider is amazing,
That’s a shame, and there’s no reason for it. Any company you retain to produce your website will obviously be paid for their work. In our view, it’s unethical to hold your website hostage unless you pay them more, but it’s probably not illegal. It all depends on the contract you sign.
It’s the same as the difference between leasing and buying a car – you don’t own a leased car, and you’ll either give it back at the end of the contract or pay through the nose to keep it. That’s why it always pays to read the contract carefully and even have an attorney go over it before signing.
The Fast And The Loose
Some marketing firms have very slick account reps who are really good at burying you in rapid-fire details. Again, there’s no reason for anyone to do that if they have your best interests at heart. Ethical companies want to make sure that prospective clients have a firm understanding of what they’re agreeing to.
Still, it’s important to not let any rep talk over you. If he or she isn’t willing to slow down and explain things clearly, SmartBox suggests you walk away. They say talk is cheap, but it’s anything but cheap if you enter into an agreement based on what you think you heard.
They also say that a verbal contract is worth the paper it’s written on. Get everything in writing first.
Are You The Owner?
According to one source, the question of who owns the website is covered by copyright law.
Basically, a website and its content is an intellectual property. By law, both belong to the creator(s) unless there’s a written agreement to assign the copyright at some point. With an ethical company, that assignment will take place once you make the final payment for services rendered… if it’s in writing.
The domain name is another thing to look at closely. Generally, the service provider will purchase the domain name under instructions from the dentist. Since the dentist pays for the purchase, the domain name should be the property of the dentist. Again, make sure that’s in your contract before signing.
Hosting Vs. Developing
It’s fairly common for a website developer to contract with another company to host the website. That will generally require a separate contractual arrangement, and that contract is also one that you should review carefully.
Why Not Skip The Worry?
SmartBox takes our relationships with clients and prospective clients very seriously. You’ll never be high-pressured or fast-talked by any of our associates. Our contracts are easily comprehensible (a certain amount of lawyer-speak is unavoidable, unfortunately) and we’ll be happy to give you all the time you need to have your attorney review the contract.
By the way, we offer a wide variety of marketing and efficiency products on a cancel-any-time basis.
The short version is this: when you partner with SmartBox, you own your website and all the content we produce for your site. You’ll know who hosts your site. You can skip the worry and get back to making money by seeing patients and solving their dental problems.
Does that sound good? Learn more by having a conversation with us. There’s no obligation, and you’ll be amazed to learn just how good worry-free dental marketing can be.