Copyright Is Important For Bloggers

by Sherry Riter in Blog tips  ,Blogger,Woo Us To Your Blog,Wordpress

I wrote it, therefore it is mine.

Is your work copyrighted?

Well, that may or may not be true. If you are a two year old coloring the latest A-B-C Coloring book, then there isn’t anything to worry about, but if that were the case I doubt that you would be reading this post. However, if you own a blog and write it in all the time, you need to know a little bit about copyrights.

What is a copyright?

According to the United States Copyright circ01.pdf document:

    “Copyright is a form of protection provided by the laws of the United States

    (title 17, U. S. Code) to the authors of ‘original works of authorship,’ including

    literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works. This

    protection is available to both published and unpublished works.”

What do I copyright?

All original content published on your blog under the authority of the

copyright owner, a copyright notice needs to appear publicly. The blog owner is responsible for the placement of this notice on the blog and it does not have to be registered with the U.S. Copyright Office.

Public works that you should copyright include:

  • literary
  • poetry
  • novels
  • movies
  • songs
  • computer software
  • architecture
  • may protect the “way” things are expressed

Copyright does not protect:

  • facts
  • ideas
  • systems
  • methods of operation

How do I “publicly” copyright?

The United States Copyright circ03.pdf document states that there are three visual elements that must be present for a legal copyright:

  • The symbol © (letter C in a circle); the word “Copyright”;

    or the abbreviation “Copr.”
  • The first year of publication. Since the blog is continually updated, it also needs to include all the years of publication such as 2001-2011.
  • The name of the copyright owner, recognizable abbreviated name, or the “online presence name” that is commonly known which is also called the alternative designation of the owner. An example of the “alternative designation” name would be “The Redhead Riter” because that really isn’t the name you will find on my birth certificate – I promise.

My copyright looks like this:

    Copyright © 2009-2011, The Redhead Riter. All Rights Reserved

If it makes you more comfortable to spell it out, you can also add:

    All material (the text, audio, video, image, and interactives) on this blog, The Redhead Riter, are subject to United States and International copyright laws and therefore may not be reproduced in any format without my prior permission.

That statement is not necessary, but it makes me feel better. According to law, “the court will not give any weight to a defendant’s use of an innocent infringement defense…” which means you are not innocent just because you didn’t realize it was copyrighted material.

That’s a bit scary!

Are there copyright tools to help?

For those bloggers who want to keep their works on their site only, there are a few places you can find copyright wording help especially if you are forgetful. By that I mean, each year you must remember to change the date on your copyright assuming you will be blogging for more than a year.

“No legacy is so rich as honesty.”
~William Shakespeare ~

The last “Woo Us To Your Blog” post explained in detail why Page Rank Doesn’t Matter and the fact that everyone should stop obsessing over it. Did you read the alternative ways to gauge if your blog is successful??

As always, attached is the weekly Linky to enter either the main URL to your site or add each post you publish throughout the week. You don’t have to do anything special, just drop your link(s) in and get a little extra exposure to your site – as many of your blogs as you would like to link and as many individual posts as you desire to link.

Until next week’s wooing post, put a copyright notice on your blog and change your domain today.

The Redhead Riter


This post was written by...

Sherry Riter is also known as The Redhead Riter. Sherry is witty, intelligent and addictive as she writes about cooking, family, marriage, failures, blogging tips, art, humor, inspiration, travel, PTSD and aging. Her goal is to inspire, motivate, educate and to make her audience laugh. Sherry embraces being a redhead and helps others to see the redhead point of view…"In some eras redheads were worshipped while others thought us witches. Personally, I like the former and think every day is 'Love a redhead day!'" She can also be found on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Linkedin, tweeting as @TheRedheadRiter and you can subscribe to her free blog feed.

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Stephanie the PW January 9, 2011 at 5:57 am

Super helpful info about the ins & outs of copyrighting!

Thank you for joining my blogfrog network!

Loving that red hair – I'm a redhead, too… good times!


2 Bev January 9, 2011 at 12:10 pm

Thanks Red. I updated the dates on my blog. Very good information!


3 Leslie January 9, 2011 at 12:30 pm

Thank you for the info. Very helpful!
Tranquil Acres of Alexandria


4 EmptyNester January 9, 2011 at 11:01 pm

I cannot begin to tell you how helpful you are! Thank you so much! I am passing your posts on to others (I emailed your link). Thank you again!


5 Reggie January 9, 2011 at 11:25 pm

very nice…good info


6 Nicole January 10, 2011 at 1:27 am

Your information is misleading. You didn't offer any dangerous advice, but it's also not correct. Anything you write automatically has a copyright from the moment of creation. I have a copyright on these words I'm typing right now. I don't have to register it. I don't have to type "Copyright by me" at the end of my post. I created this particular expression, I own a copyright automatically, immediately, with no further effort. Now, it is tremendously helpful to declare your copyright clearly if you want to ENFORCE your copyright in court. But it is NOT necessary to do so to own a copyright on your work. Look at the first line of the circular you linked to: "U.S. law no longer requires the use of a copyright notice, although it is often

It's not often I get to dust off that law degree in my profession as a tiara designer. 😉


7 Danielle-Marie January 10, 2011 at 1:40 am

Such an excellent tip and I took your advice right away!


8 The Redhead Riter January 10, 2011 at 2:33 am


Thank you for your comment. You are correct, however, as the law states:

"Furthermore,in the event that a work is infringed, if the work carries a proper notice,
the court will not give any weight to a defendant’s use of an innocent infringement defense—that is, to a claim that the defendant did not realize that the work was protected. An innocent infringement
defense can result in a reduction in damages that the copyright owner would otherwise receive."

Let's suppose someone copies your work and claims that they "didn't know it was copyrighted." If you have the copyright notice posted, the court will basically blow off the "innocent infringement" and the person will still be held accountable at a more speedy pace. Taking someone to court is expensive anyway, so if there is a quick way to end it, why not?

After the copyright expires, all the material becomes public domain.

Another thing is that nobody has clarified if it is illegal to link to material that infringes on the copyright of someone else. This is just considered common internet practice, but it is still a gray area in the law. I'm sure eventually there will be a law for linking.

It is safe to say, if you think it might be a copyright infringement, don't do it!


9 Lori January 10, 2011 at 2:34 am

Such great information. Thanks for always putting such useful and easy to follow info out there. You rock!


10 Mrs.Mayhem January 13, 2011 at 11:07 pm

Thanks so much! I need to rush to my blog to change the copyright dates. It automatically switched to 2011, but it needs to be 2010-2011. Thanks!


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