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Copyright notices are all over the web, and you can find them at the bottom of most websites and apps. However, if you have no experience with copyright, it can be difficult to know how to use it to protect your site. Indeed, adding a copyright is often an instinctive task for many site owners.
The good news is, you don't need a lawyer to protect your WordPress site. With your copyright in place, you will be able to protect your content from thieves, and stop unauthorized use. In this tutorial, we're going to talk about the benefits of protecting your website and teach you how to do it.
Let's get to work!
Why you should protect your copyright
When you protect something that you have created, you have the right to choose how you can use it and under what circumstances. Copyrights also serve as proof of ownership since in many cases you have to register them before an authority.
Copyright of a website essentially means that you can claim ownership of its content, including text and graphics. Here are two reasons why this is a good idea:
- It provides you with a legal basis to protect your content. With copyright in place, it becomes easier to take legal action if someone posts your content without permission.
- It acts as proof of ownership. If you protect your website, you get proof that you own its content. Again, this makes it easier to take legal action in some cases.
However, when it comes to websites, you can't protect every aspect. For example, while you pouvez protect the text of your blog posts, this does not extend to links. Likewise, you cannot protect the layout of your site or its domain name (in the vast majority of cases).
What you pouvez protect is your website text and any original images you created for it. The best part is, under US law, you don't need to register your website to officially get copyrighted. As soon as it is online, it is considered your property and its content is protected. However, you can also save it in front of the US Copyright Office if you want a registration in place to protect your property with (we'll talk about it later).
From a practical standpoint, this means that you can add a copyright notice to your website as soon as it goes live, and it will be valid. Let's talk about how to do it!
How to protect your WordPress site (in 2 steps)
In this section, we are going to cover two easy steps to protect your website using copyright. For the first step, we'll teach you how to add a copyright notice to your site using Divi. Next, we'll talk about how to register copyright in the United States if you want the extra protection. Although this last step is not strictly necessary, it peut worth it if you intend to monetize your website. Let's go!
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Step # 1: Add a copyright notice to your pages using Divi
If you use Divi, you will notice that your pages contain a footer similar to this one:
You can easily edit the text and replace it with your own copyright notice, for example:
For a copyright notice, it is sufficient to include a maximum of four elements. This is the copyright symbol (©), a date range covering the creation of the site and the current year, the author, company or name of the site, and a statement of rights. However, in practice people often drop some of these items. In our opinion, Copyright © 2018 John Doe is just as valid as other notes.
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The most essential elements are the copyright symbol, the date (s) and your name. Let's discuss how to set up your copyright notice using Divi. First, log into your WordPress dashboard and head to the tab Appearance> Customizer . Once opened, look for the option Footer in the menu on the left:
Divi allows you to modify several elements of your footer. The one we are looking for, in this case, is the lower bar :
A new menu will appear, where you can choose the background and text colors, as well as change the size of your font and social icons. There is also a reading field for footer credits . This is (of course) where you have to type your new copyright notice, which will replace the default Divi text:
Once you're happy with how your copyright notice looks, save the changes in your footer and you're good to go. If you want to know how to form the symbol ©, you must hold down the ALT key and type 0169 on the numeric keypad, then release ALT. This works on Windows 10.
Step # 2: Register your copyright with the relevant authorities
As we mentioned before, the moment your website goes live is considered your job - at least in the United States. You do not have need register an official copyright, but it can be a worthwhile investment as it becomes easier to prove that the content on your site is yours.
The process for registering a copyright will vary depending on the country you are in, of course. For the United States, you can register a copyright in your home. Here's how the process unfolds:
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- Go to the website US Copyright Office and look for the read option Register copyright .
- Choose the option Other numeric content among those offered by the website (this includes computer programs, databases, blogs and websites in general).
- Fill out and submit a form including information about who owns the copyright and your website.
- Pay a deposit fee of 55 $.
- Wait for the US Copyright Office to review your request.
Keep in mind that registering a copyright with the US Copyright Office can sometimes take months. If you are concerned about protecting your intellectual property and believe your website may be in danger, you may want to get a head start on the registration process. Once your application is approved, you will have more peace of mind, and you should have an easier time if you need to send withdrawal notifications or take legal action to protect the content of your site.
There is a reason why most sites choose to include copyright notices on their pages. While your site is technically copyrighted from the moment it goes live, a notice can help deter potential thieves. Also, if you go the extra mile and register your copyright, you should have an easier time getting takedown notifications.
When it comes to adding copyright notices to your pages, Divi makes the process pretty straightforward. All you need to do is edit your footer and add a simple one-line review, which shouldn't take more than a few minutes.
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