Almost every website on the Internet includes some content, whether this is in the form of pictures, words or another media. Copyright laws are used to safeguard the intellectual rights of the author of his or her content. Copyright law has recently become a very important issue in the worldwide media due to countries’ acts of government like S.O.P.A. and other high-profile attempts at enforcing copyright online. This is the perfect time to review your website’s copyright and to make sure you are making the most of its potential. This article highlights the importance of updating copyright on a website, the types of work that can be protected and the direct, positive effect it can have on the amount of views a website receives.
To begin with, why is copyright important? Without copyright it is possible for anyone to take credit for another’s work. In the case of the Internet, this means that a website’s content can be simply copied and pasted onto another website and that other website take credit for its creation. However, not everything can be protected by copyright. Only ‘tangible’ pieces of work can be covered, such as images or documents that are saved on a hard drive or printed on paper. Other forms of creative work, like ideas, opinions and discoveries are not protected. Without copyright the authorship of original content can be claimed by a variety of sources. This has a negative impact on the author and their website because original content is what makes a website stand out and attracts views – if the content is all over the internet there is no reason to visit that website.
So, how can a website and its content become protected by copyright law? Simply putting a small copyright sign in the header and footer of a website is a sign that the following content can’t be used without the author’s permission. However, if the content is particularly valuable then this may not be enough; instead content can usually be registered with the relevant country’s copyright office. This is usually done through the post, but can be slow and difficult. Another option is to register the content with an online copyright company. This website will store any content that you submit and act as an independent witness to the date of the creation of the content and what it contained. This means that, should anyone copy your work, it will be possible to claim compensation from the offender and order them to remove it from their website.
Prices for this type of online registration vary based on how long the registration company will keep them on their database and how much content is included. It is very important that a reputable website is chosen so it pays to shop around to find the right cover for you. Registration with your governments copyright will often be slightly more expensive, but guaranteed. It is also worth noting that the company you register with will probably not be able to conduct any legal operations on their own. To enforce copyright there may be the occasion for separate legal fees which the author will have to provide themselves, but if the claim is upheld then they may well win back any legal fees. We hope you found this article helpful in optimising your content’s value and hopefully in increasing your website’s traffic.