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© Copyrights

May 22, 2004 — One aspect of web design I've never really had the balls to deal with before was the legal side of things. Sure we can all put a copyright symbol and the letters c-o-p-y-r-i-g-h-t on our sites, but is it true? I mean, can I take someone to court if they take some personal idea off my site and use it as their own? What's the extent of the copyright at the bottom and is it really valid? If not, what do I have to do to obtain a valid copyright notice?

vampirical says:

As soon as your create something original you have rights to it. By putting the copyright notice at the bottom of the page your simply showing your copyright in affect. If at some point down the road it became necessary to prove your claim to the piece of work then this may come in handy. You can actually register with the copyright office but in most cases I would say that would be silly.

I haven't researched the issue very thoroughly but this is what I've come to understand. Though you should note that if place a work in the public domain (correct term?) for example by telling people to use the work as they like, it may invalidate your claim to a copyright.

Jackson says:

I had the same question when I started publishing my books, and Vampirical is exactly right.

There was a point where you HAD to register with the copyright office to secure your rights, but now it is as simple as writing something and claiming it. The "copyright" word at the bottom of the page is just a formality. However, an editor's opinion is to make sure the date is on the writing somewhere, because it'll prove you wrote it first if it ever does become an issue that is taken into litigation.

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