How to protect a website’s copyright


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Copyright protection is a great thing to have for your website. This is the right way to protect the original content of the website. This includes web pages, photographs and any unique writing.

Below, you’ll find everything you need to know about website copyright protection in the United States. The content of this article should not be taken as legal advice.

What does copyright mean on a website?

Digital content on any website can qualify as intellectual property. This means that articles like a blog post are covered. Copyright law automatically applies the minute your website goes up.

However, copyright infringement laws only apply when you register. You can take legal action if your content is stolen or plagiarized at this time.

Be aware that registering your website with the US copyright office only covers content when you register. Anything added later must have another record.

There are other things to consider as well. As the Copyright Act does not automatically recognize websites. Unless they meet certain requirements.

What are the benefits of having a copyright notice on my site?

Putting a website, blog, or even a copyright notice on social media is important. Here are four reasons why. Use the copyright symbol or word.

  • It tells people that the work on the website is intellectual property and that you have the rights to it.
  • This makes it easier if you need to take legal action for copyright infringement.
  • If someone wants to use your content, a copyright notice makes it easy to get in touch.

It is a public folder that you own the contents of.

How can I protect my website?

Going through the process for your website provides you with the copyright protection listed above.

A copyright notice consists of the associated symbol or the word copyright used. You don’t need to register them for them to exist. However, registering with the US Copyright Office provides more legal leverage.

A valid copyright notice needs a date or date range and a rights statement. Plus the three items below. These are the elements of copyright.

The copyright symbol

You can type the copyright character, use the full word, or this abbreviation, Copr.

Publication year

The year of publication is another part of the copyright notice. This is the year the website is made public or goes live.

Name of copyright owner

Copyright laws include the publication of the owner’s name. The ownership rights generally rest with the owners of the website.

Do I have to register my copyright notice?

Your website is a valuable asset for any small business. Copyright protection begins when your website file is saved. You are automatically protected when this happens.

Registration with the copyright office (mentioned above) is voluntary. However, if you want to bring an infringement lawsuit in America, you must register such a notice.

How to register copyright for a website

First you need to identify the author’s copyrighted content. Stuff like web pages with original content. Here’s a getting started video covering legal information and copyright ideas.

Read on on the next steps.

1. File a copyright claim

The US Copyright Office is where you want to go. More specifically, their online registration portal. Look for the “other digital content” category.

2. Pay the copyright filing fee

Here is the link to the fees at the US Copyright Office. Electronic filing for website copyright ranges from $ 50 to $ 65. Online it costs $ 35.

3. Attach copies of your website content

They are creative works. So, you will need to include images, software, shows, text, design, graphics, website layout, music, and data.

Most websites are what is called a tangible medium that includes original works. This means that it is substantial and not imaginary.

When will my copyright registration take effect?

If you file a copyright, it takes effect on the day the office obtains:

  • The application
  • the deposit
  • application fee

Check these boxes and you can place a copyright symbol on your website.

How to create a copyright website footer?

Here’s how to implement a copyright-protected website footer. Use the symbol or words on each page. Also add the date. Use WordPress? Use the “footer.php” link to add the information to the site footer.

Examples of copyright notices

Here are three copyright statements for example websites.


One of the biggest players in the digital landscape is Microsoft. They use the company name and the copyright symbol.


Verizon takes a straightforward approach to copyright notices. They use a small copyright symbol, the company name and the date.

Home depot

Home Depot takes a slightly different approach to its copyright notice. They use the copyright symbol and the full name of their business. But they add some notes on the terms of use and other information.


Can you copyright it for free?

The answer is yes. There are a number of artistic works that can be protected for free if you do not register the copyright. Keep in mind that you don’t have an extra layer of protection over your creative work when you go this route.

Who owns the copyright in a website?

It is important to understand something about the copyright owner for a website. The creator owns the copyright.

There may be side agreements for items such as computer software. If you employ someone and they build it, your company still owns the copyright.

There are also labor hire provisions and clauses for independent contractors.

What is intellectual property on a website?

The term refers to the unique aspects of a website. Like the fonts used in the text and even the encoding. Anything created specifically for the website.

What happens if I don’t protect my website?

You will not be eligible for statutory damages and attorney fees if there is a need for legal action. Original words and other items will not be protected as well.

What can’t you protect on a website?

A copyright symbol does not cover everything on a website, it is Copyright Law 101. These elements cannot be covered.

  • Common information such as calendars, tables and lists of public documents.
  • Ideas
  • Names and titles

Even a business name cannot be included.

Is the copyright of my website valid in other countries?

Copyrighted websites in America do not have automatic international recognition. Here is a list of treaties and conventions.

Image: Depositphotos

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