Is there something going on in the local web development scene? Or maybe it’s a meme out there in the larger web dev world that a couple local companies have coincidentally picked up on and are using as a marketing angle. The meme in question is this: Some web development companies have been claiming their creations (web sites created for their clients for example) belong to them and not to the client. Precision Intermedia has been running ads in the paper and the Eureka Chamber of Commerce newsletter about this. And Jill St. Claire of JSC Markting had an article in the Eureka Reporter today covering this issue.

Are there really a bunch of web developers out there that make this claim? Are there really that many web site “owners” who have fallen prey to this ploy? It’s hard for me to imagine. However, I have run in to one such incident recently, where the client actually had to pay the web developer to gain ownership of their own site before they could hand it over to us to work on. But that was a new one on me. I have seen this be the case many times though regarding domain names and have written my own article that addresses this issuee.

Perhaps the local web development market has not evolved very far where people still don’t think that web sites are crucial business tools and should therefore be treated as any vital asset, protected by a written agreement that spells out these ownership issues clearly. Perhaps since we’ve always operated this way, I am naive about the practices of other developers.

Or, maybe it’s a straw man conjured up to create a sense of anxiety among web site clients. But it’s odd that they both have hit upon the same topic.