[thelist] Creating Clients

Hershel Robinson hershelsr at yahoo.com
Thu Aug 23 10:22:29 CDT 2001

On another web professionals mailing list (not unfamiliar to some of you
Evolters) someone recently suggested an interesting method to secure new

He offers to design a web site for them for fee, but retain all copyright
priveleges to his pages.  The client signs a document to this effect.  He
then gives the pages to the client for the first month for free--he probably
would also create a domain name and find a host for them as well.  Then, if
the site actually produces revenue or leads or whatever the client wants, he
then allows the client to lease the pages from him for a certain monthly
fee.  The client is saved from making an initial large (and potentially
prohibitive) investment, and the designer has created a (small) ongoing

This method is new to me and I find it very interesting.  I have a question,
however, regarding this copyright retention idea.  Would it not be possible
for the client to make some small change (like changing the background color
of all the pages from blue to green) and thus create 'new' pages which would
not be copyrighted by the designer?  A devious and smart client could end up
with a whole site for free.  Even a non-devious client might want to make
certain more significant changes a month down the road and if he hires his
cousin Vinny (instead of the original designer) to make those changes, then
at that point, the pages would certainly be new and not covered by the

I suppose the other option would be to design a site for free with the
stipulation that the designer then is entitled to a certain portion of any
revenue generated by the web site.  This would be profit-sharing and would
not really be a new concept, although I've never tried it myself--I was
always a bit nervous I would end up sharing a net revenue of zero!

Does anyone have any experience with these ideas and can share some advice
or ideas?


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