asks: "I am involved now in a lawsuit where the basis is that HTML code is copyrightable. My question is, when can HTML code be copyrighted? Here is a brief explanation: I was brought in as a contractor to finish a website for an advertising agency because Company X (who started the job) didn't have the expertise to finish it. The advertising agency that brought me in did all the design, created the graphics and came up with all of the concepts (so they own the design/style of the site). Now the first company is suing me for Intellectual Property theft, saying I stole proprietary code. I don't see it that way, they didn't do any design, and any code they had was generated by a commercial program!"
Strange, but I would think that since Company X were hired to do the job, then whatever they had developed belonged to the advertising agency that hired them. Am I missing an issue here that would make this untrue?
"The company they HAD doing it simply put the pieces together in DreamWeaver.
I used there DreamWeaver code as a base (to get it done quickly), but I went through the code and re-did it to run under Unix (they had it running on an NT box). I also replaced all the backend NT executables with CGI/Perl and a Java Servlet for the shopping cart, all code I wrote myself.
The advertising agency is having their lawyers defend me, but I wanted to get the technical view from Slashdot, since the lawyers just drill me and keep me out of the loop."