I wrote it, therefore it is mine.
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protection is available to both published and unpublished works.”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:
- computer software
- may protect the “way” things are expressed
Copyright does not protect:
- 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.
- For WordPress users, there is a plugin and tutorial by Blog Traffic Exchange that will automatically generate a copyright notice that will change the date at the beginning of the new year.
- For all others, Webweaver will automatically generate a copyright notice that will change the date at the beginning of the new year.
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.