Web designing is something people do because they love it. It is not something they decide to go to school to study, although there are web design courses available. Usually, this is more of a creative effort rather than an academic one. When a web designer works, he summons his creative side and everything that comes out of it is laid out in his masterpiece. However, web designing is a business and that means it has to conform to certain rules of both art and business. Legalities also come into play and when it comes to this craft, copyrights are the issue.
A copyright is a right granted by the law to the owner of an original work. This work protects him from loss of income or false claims of ownership by other people. Facts or ideas cannot be copyrighted but the way they are expressed through a person’s work may be. Before something can be copyrighted, it has to be proven original as well. For a web design to be copyrighted, it has to be proven that no such design has been created by anyone and that no material used in the web design is copyrighted to another person or company.
If you are planning to have a career in web design, you must not neglect this aspect because this can easily get you in trouble if you happen to use something that legally belongs to someone else. For example, if you are creating a website for a certain city’s tourism department, you should use photographs taken by you yourself or anyone you have commissioned to take such photographs for the use of your website. You cannot just copy and paste another person’s photograph from the Internet. This is possible if the photos have not been copyrighted, but if they are, then you can be sued for using them, unless you have written permission from the one who rightfully owns them.
There are certain cases when one can use another person’s work on his own. For example, if you are running a website on Origami or paper art, you may include techniques that have been created by existing Origami artists but there should be appropriate attribution. You can copy their instructions so your viewers can have more to learn about the paper art, but there has to be a note somewhere that points ownership to the one who made such instructions or created such technique.