Copyright a Web Site?

Did you know that you can get a registered copyright on your web site, with the US Copyright office? If you own a web site and want to protect the information and layout that you created, then consider registering that work.


So why get a copyright? A web site is your work, making it your property. You spent a lot of time and effort to create your web pages (the text and layout/designs), and you don’t want to see someone else copy your work for their own. A website is treated just like any other tangible form of medium, such as a book or DVD, and it is entitled to the same amount of protection. How many times have you seen other web sites that look very similar? Do you think that was by coincident? Most likely, one site owner copied the text and/or layout from the other party.


A federal copyright also provides you with the ability to use US law in protecting your work, which usually offers better remedies.


It’s a fairly painless procedure to file a copyright, which will usually afford you copyright protection for the life of the website creator (you), plus an additional 70 years. Keep in mind though that the copyright is only good for the version you file, so if you choose to change the text or layout, then you need to file a new and revised copyright. Make sure your website is as done as its going to be for the time being, before submitting your application. Otherwise you may end up filing quite a few copyright registrations.