You put a lot of work into creating your website, so it certainly makes sense that you’d want to protect it from content thieves and duplicators. That urge might have driven you to wonder, “how do I copyright my website?” And what about all of the individual elements on the site? It would definitely make sense to know how to copyright a logo or a blog post.
The differences between trademarks and copyrights
People often use copyright and trademark interchangeably. But while both deal with intellectual property, the two terms apply to different things:
If you want to protect an entire blog post or a photo that you took (AKA a creative work), you use copyright:
- All original content created on your website is secured by copyright law.
- This includes creative works such as photographs, designs, written articles, and more.
- Once the creative work becomes tangible (ie. publication), copyright law goes into effect.
- While your original work is copyrighted by default, it’s easier to get compensation and protect your content with a registered copyright.
- There is something called the “Fair Use” principle, which means that some, or all, of your copyrighted work, may sometimes be available to the public.
If you want to protect the name of your website or your logo, you use a trademark.
- Registered trademarks can never be used without permission. Therefore, you protect the most valuable parts of your brand with trademarks.
- Trademarks include any items that differentiate the goods or services sold by your company.
- For instance, trademarks cover symbols, colors, jingles, word marks, company names, and more.
- Personal names cannot be trademarked unless widely recognized and unique, like Cabela’s or Ford.
Why should I copyright my website?
Copyrights and trademarks help after you’ve generated a following and created a business with value. This way, no one tries to make a duplicate entity with your name and logo–or something that looks or sounds similar.
It’s not an absolute necessity for all sites, and plenty of bloggers don’t bother with it. But if you’re serious about your blog as a business, registering the proper copyrights and trademarks can offer you added protection against copycats.
How do I copyright my website and get my trademarks?
In the United States, creative works are protected by copyright law by default. Yes, you’re still technically protected even if you don’t proactively register the copyright.
This means that whenever you create something unique, like a blog post, it’s automatically owned by you. However, this doesn’t exactly mean you have any legal leverage if someone decides to steal your articles or logo.
In fact, often all you can do without a registered copyright is send a cease and desist letter. But if you learn how to copyright a logo, and all of the other elements on your site, it’s much easier for you to collect compensation.
In short, copyrights are best used for keeping your blog and articles protected. The same goes for photographs. When it comes to restricting other people from using your company name and logo, that’s where trademarks come into play for further defense.
How to register a copyright
It’s nice because the website has different types of content categorized for you to learn more about each one. As you can see, blogs and websites are placed under the “Other Digital Content” area.
After that, walk through the process of submitting the content you want to protect under copyright law. As mentioned, you might want to consider submitting everything in one batch, such as your website, all current photos, articles, videos, artwork, and products.
After I copyright my website, how do I get trademarks?
Now, it’s time to figure out how to copyright a logo and site name.
Start by going to the United States Patent and Trademark Office website. On the Trademarks page, you’ll see several buttons for learning about trademarks, applying, and searching for them.
Three forms are available depending on what you’re applying for. If you’re at all confused about which form to choose and how to fill it out, we recommend that you speak to a lawyer on how to copyright a logo and get more professional information on protecting your site.
Is your site protected? Do you know how to how to copyright a logo and other website elements?
If you’ve ever asked the question, “Do I need to copyright my website,” the answer is this: If you’re planning on making money from your site, trademarks and copyrights offer more protection. If it’s only a hobby or journal, there’s not really any point.
So, make sure you thoroughly read through this guide to make sure you know how to copyright a logo, your website, your blog name, and potentially smaller parts like the posts and images. Oh yeah, and don’t forget to protect any designs or original products you’re selling.