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Who Owns Website Files?

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Junior Member
What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? NC

Store owner hires website developer to design website. Store owner purchased domain and hosting in her own name. Website developer works many hours racking up a balance due of of approx $10K. Store owner has paid half of balance due then doesn't pay any more.

Website developer has just enough information to get into hosting account and delete the entire website.

Who legally owns those website files?


Junior Member
If there were a contract, there wouldn't be a question. (Oh... well... in this case there probably would be any way.)

So, how about in the case were there is no contract?

Which leads to more questions for me. What would you call said contract? Say if I wanted to look on LegalZoom or research what it would entail (without asking too many questions here), what would I search for?


Keeper of the Kraken
How about using Google and searching for web design contract? :rolleyes:

For a 'geekette', you don't seem to have much of a clue.... :eek:


Junior Member
Let me clarify. The files HAVE ALREADY BEEN deleted and I am NOT the website developer who deleted them. I don't do business that way. I am a third party trying to help.

But thanks for making assumptions, calling me stupid and rolling your eyes at me. I appreciate the help.

I only want to know who owns the rights to the files.
Last edited:


Your original post didn't indicate the files had already been deleted. I don't recall calling you stupid or including the rolleyes icon. Please accept my apology for assuming you didn't know how to search the web.

The only real way for your friend to determine who owned the files would be to talk to an attorney since there was no contract. This is based on my assumption that your friend wants to take (or defend themselves from) legal action.

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