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Posts Tagged ‘copyright webpage’

Can I copyright my own website?

Susan KeenanThe short answer is yes, I can. That is to say, the original authorship appearing on any website can be protected by copyright. This includes all of the content that is found on a particular website including the literary works, photographs, illustrations, sound recordings, and any other content or form of authorship that can be protected by copyright. More specifically, once online works that are accessible over a communication network (the Internet) including websites, FTP sites, and homepages become tangible and fixed, they are open to copyrighting.

Those works are subject to copyrighting until they can be viewed, reproduced, or communicated from a tangible state. However, copyrighting is not mandatory.

U.S. law does not allow for the copyrighting of procedures, ideas, systems, or methods of operations.

The procedure for registering all of the contents of a website for copyright can be accomplished online through the electronic Copyright Office. To register a copyright, one must complete an application. Each application contains three basic parts: the form, the filing fee, and the deposit. The deposit is a copy or copies of the work that is being registered for copyright.

The filing fee is nonrefundable. The deposit is non-returnable. Once the information is received in proper order, the copyright registration is valid and goes into effect. However, processing time does vary.

Registering for copyright online is the fastest and least expensive way. In fact, this is the preferred method when copyrighting basic materials such as visual arts works, literary works, and performing arts works. Performing arts works can include sound recordings, motion pictures, and single serials. Online registration that occurs through the electronic Copyright Office is often referred to as eCO.

If you register online, the fee is slightly smaller. The processing time is much quicker. I have the option to conduct online tracking of my application's tracking. I also have the ability to upload into an eCO certain types of deposits directly as electronic files. I also have the opportunity to make a secure payment through electronic check, credit card payment, or debit card payment.

The second option to register a copyright is to complete the fill-in Form CO, which can be obtained online. These forms utilize updated barcode technology that makes it easier and quicker to process this type of application. Once I complete the form on my computer, I can print it out, and mail it in with my payment and deposit. (Remember the deposit is my copy of the work to be copyrighted.)

The third option for filing for copyright involves a paper application. I must send a written request for this type of application. The applications for copyright registration eCO and CO can be obtained online at

Each time new material is added to a website, it must undergo its own application. Each new application should only include the new material and should never include any previously copyrighted material in the request to receive copyright.

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