Does WebHostingHub let you own your site?
For most people, the question of who owns their website seems absurd. Some would think that having spent enough money and having paid for the services required to operate the website gave them the right to own their website. However, this is not always the case. Not unless the contract explicitly specifies that you own your website, you are never its owner. To make it a lot easier to understand, we need to define the term “own” first. Owning your domain is like owning your phone number at home which you never actually own but is just leasing it from the company.
This question is quite tricky. Not all hosting companies allow you to own your website. With WebHostingHub, is it clearly stated in Part 4.a.i of the their Terms of Service/ User Agreement that the “Customer is the owner or valid licensee of the Customer Content and each element thereof, and Customer has secured all necessary licenses, consents, permissions, waivers and releases for the use of the Customer Content and each element thereof, including without limitation, all trademarks, logos, names and likenesses contained therein, without any obligation by Company to pay any fees, residuals, guild payments or other compensation of any kind to any Person or Entity; “(quoted from WebHostingHub’s Terms of Service/User Agreement) which means that the client only gets to own the content of the website but the company simply leases the site to the customer.
Technically, what can’t I own in my website?
To make it plain and simple, you do not really own your site in as much as your website is actually made up of many parts, some of which you own and others you just lease. Here is a simple guide of what you do own and you simply lease.
- You do n’t own the web server. The web server is the computer that runs the server platform that is hosting your website. Usually, the data center owns the web server and leases it to you. It is obvious that you don’t own your website unless you purchase one for yourself.
- You don’t own the Web Server Platform, the company owns this. Examples of this include the Linux Apache MySQL PHP (LAMP), ASP.NET, Windows IIS+ and Microsoft SQL Server.
- You don’t own the Content Management System (CMS) such as WordPress, Joomla and Drupal. You can have your own CMS if you author a source code and that you wrote it yourself. The owner of the CMS is its creator; you are only licensed to use it.
- You don’t own the Database Software such as MySQL. Never owning the database software also means that you don’t own the actual database too but you own the website data and content that is stored in the database provided you author it.
- You don’t own the browser; you are only licensed to use it.
- Most surprisingly, you don’t own you domain name. Surprised? Actually, you don’t own the domain name although you are the registered domain name owner. You are only leasing it.
What do I get to own then?
As the “owner” of your website and as the author of its contents, you get to own the following:
- You should be the owner of the Visual Design of your website. This includes the layout and the graphical assets such as colors, typography, photography used in creating the user interface, the readable content of the website and the images and videos it contains.
- You should own the Text Content of your site. This includes all the readable, formatted, able to be copied and pasted as well as can be indexed in the search engine website text that can be rendered in your browser. This means you should be the author of the Text Content to make it your own.
- You owned the photos of your site, that is if you took the photos yourself, otherwise, if you just copied it from somewhere it, the photo is just licensed to you.
What is the Legal Reality of Website ownership?
It may come quite surprising that after having spent time and money for website, you get to be informed that you don’t actually own it.These are the following facts that you should bear in mind about the legal reality of the ownership of your website. One, you should remember that you can never legally own the web server platform, your domain name, the web platform, the database software, the CMS and even the language that is used to build your website. You also would never get to own the server that is hosting your website and that you are only granted the license to use the Intellectual Property of the creator of the website and the platform that is used to build it.
You can only own the website source code if you created the program yourself or have somebody “work for hire” under you. However, you get to own the contents of your website and the visual design.