We’ve got a site for you. You like it. Time passes, and you already want the site less. It needs to be re-thought a bit. And now it’s a simple task thanks to no-code solutions — website and application builders. It is very convenient if you are too lazy to write the code yourself. And for non-developers, it’s salvation at all.
TL;DR The copyrights for a website of a small flower shop or meditation courses are not so acute — you rely on the designer’s documents. If your tasks are more significant, it is better to give part of the money saved on the developer to a wise lawyer to know exactly whose IP rights will be. Invest the rest of the money you save in food stocks.
Let’s say you need a large site or a bunch of them. No-code developers are invited to take care of this garden. It can be seen that this is not an oxymoron but rather a synonym for the photographer whom you call for a photo shoot, even if you take good pictures of nature or selfies.
At the same time, the photographer can transfer you the rights to use photos according to proven practice with many default agreements. And what happens to the rights to the site, assembled on the constructor by you or a third-party developer?
The legislation of many countries classifies the website as an object of intellectual property and defines it as a composite work. From the name, it is clear that a mixed work consists of several other results of intellectual work. Speaking of a no-code site formed from templates, we can conclude that the resulting site is copyrighted and protected by law.
But there is a nuance. First, the user agreements of site builders must define the rights to their templates, which are used when creating a site. This is a visual design and development. In other words, the site creation service must determine who owns the templates that are used to create a no-code site.
Secondly, the same user agreement should regulate the issue of the emergence of the right to the site as a composite work.
And third, the user agreement can also determine who owns the rights to the user-created no-code site. Simply put, the site builder’s user agreement is an essential source for resolving the issue of creating and disposing of rights to a no-code site.
In the case when the user agreement of the service for creating sites does not contain provisions on who and how owns the property rights to the completed site, and if we proceed from the presumption of copyright, which until proven otherwise, the object (website) is considered to be a created creative work, then all sites no-code are the results of intellectual creation — composite pieces.
The creative work is the basis of copyright. It is the creative component that endows this or that result with copyright.
Therefore, the use of templates provided by the service, or rather their selection and arrangement, is often not of any creative nature, so it would be wrong to say that a no-code site is always protected by copyright. The more creative work is used in a no-code site, the more likely it will be considered the result of intellectual activity. Most likely, using unique texts and design solutions, for example, new fonts or any visual effects in the no-code site will play a key role.
This is where things get even more complicated. Mainly if a low-code solution is used — a mixture of a semi-finished product and a classic site-building. The developer adds his code to the constructor code. Most likely, the user adds tiny fragments, and it is not always advisable to recognize this as full-fledged software. The service has a crucial role here: according to the rules of use, the service must allow processing in the form of code inclusion, and it can also strictly separate the rights to the base code of the service and custom additions. If the user agreement does not resolve this issue, and then there will be disputes, everything will decide how serious the revision of the service’s source code was, whether it can be considered an independent product, and how much the user can own and dispose of the result.