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It is important for one to copyright the work they have created as soon as possible, also making sure that it is fixed in a tangible form. This means that you need to make sure that your work is documented or communicated in an observable way. This can be done either by a machine or a device.
Basically, your work has to be either written on paper or has to be saved on a recording device or a hard drive in order to be tangible. You must understand that you cannot copyright ideas or non-physical methods and systems.
If you’ve created a website, then you need to copyright it at the time of its development, in order to prevent someone from using your graphics, contents, and all the visual elements without your permission.
You need to place the copyright notice at the bottom of your site; indicating that the content displayed cannot be used without the permission of the owner, meaning you.
Here are some steps you need to follow in order to copyright your website
Firstly, you need to visit the United States Copyright Office’s website in order to get a copyright application form. Or you could also register online, and file for a copyright through the Copyright Office’s ECO system.
This is a more practical method as the online form is comparatively less expensive, and it also allows you to upload a copy of your web page as well.
The second thing you need to do is to complete the copyright application that you’ll be provided by the Copyright Office. You’ll need to fill out the application with all of your background information, information regarding the author of the web page, the title, date, and content of the web page.
There needs to be statement regarding whether you’ve registered your web page for copyright protection before or not.
Thirdly you’ll have to upload a copy of your web page and send it to the Copyright Office that is if you’ve opted for the online application method. But, if you’ve sent in a paper application instead then you’ll have to mail the Copyright Office a CD that contains your web page instead!
Do make sure that you’ve included a complete copy of your web page; you’ll have to include all the HTML files as well as all of the graphics.
And lastly, you’ll have to pay the Copyright Office the applicable filing fee; you can find more about this fee by visiting their website.
Another thing you need to know
One important thing that you need to understand is that the registered copyright will only extend to the work that has been included in the deposit. This means that if you were to update the website after you’ve filed the copyright, then you’ll have to register for the copyright again for the new updated material.
There are two different cases, databases, and the serials or newsletter. These cases allow you to register in three months sets. This means that the copyright will cover at least 3 months at a time.