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Whether your company operates online or has an office, chances are you have a website. In fact, it's practically essential for businesses to have ecommerce sites. A Google blog survey shows that the majority of American consumers do their research about a company's offerings on the web before they make purchase decisions.
With this in mind, you want to put your best work on your corporate web page. At the same time, you don't want competitors to be able to take this information and use it for their own gains.
You may have noticed that a number of websites have the phrase "All Rights Reserved" at the bottom of the page. Or maybe you've seen the copyright symbol and date online. But what exactly does that mean for the owner of the website? Better still, how can you get that foreboding copyright mark on your site?
Here's what you need to know.
Insight on Copyright
Copyright seems to be a phrase that gets thrown around a lot in courts – the phrases "copyright infringement" or "copyright protection" are top legal jargon. But what does copyright mean for you?
According to the U.S. Copyright Office, copyright is protection grounded in the U.S. constitution. It covers both published and unpublished works. Copyrights protect intellectual property – this can be anything from music or novels to computer software. But copyright doesn't protect processes or ideas.
To clarify, a copyright won't protect the process of your "four step formula" if other businesses want to use it, but it will protect how it is expressed. So maybe another company can claim they have the "perfect process for installation" but they can't articulate it as your "four-step formula."
Notably, if you're looking to protect an idea, invention or discovery, you may be in need of a patent. Still, copyrights are your best bet for protecting the content of your website.
If you want more information, visit the U.S. Copyright Office's official website.
Copyright Matters For Your Site
Even with an understanding of what copyright is, it may be difficult to comprehend why it's critical for your website. Copyright protection often seems to be primarily a concern of novelists or photographers, but plenty of people who wouldn't call themselves artists still write business-related content that is eligible for copyright registration.
In fact, a report from CTV News suggests that businesses may be some of the biggest benefactors of copyrights. The source suggests that corporate logo designs or slogans are often at risk of being plagiarized – and if you don't copyright these marketing materials, publishing them online will make them fair game for others to legally use.
Register the Contents of Your Website
If your website is an original work, technically it's protected by copyright.
So if that's the case, why all the fuss about why you should worry about copyright protection? If someone does copy content off of your business' website, it's hard to prosecute offenders unless you have registered your web page.
Plus, there are several advantages that come with formally copyrighting your page. According to About.com, if you obtain copyright registration for your website within three months of building your website and before anyone infringes on its contents, you could be entitled to more money in the event that other entrepreneurs steal your work to try to benefit their businesses.
To learn about how to register the copyright to your website you can visit the Intellectual Property Attorneys online.
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