Website Copyrights?

Discussion in 'Digital Marketing' started by Keegan, Apr 13, 2011.

  1. Keegan

    Keegan LawnSite Senior Member
    from CT
    Posts: 605

    I designed my own website and I have a question regarding copyrights.

    At the bottom of most websites there is a copyright or all rights reserved notice. Is there a legal form or does a lawyer need to be involved to have that posted on a website?
     
  2. Turboguy

    Turboguy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,960

    No just posting it asserts your copywrite protection.
     
  3. nr7pro

    nr7pro LawnSite Member
    Posts: 66

    Yeah.. I can't quite agree with Turbo on this one.

    This is far from "legal" wording, but...

    If you created an original website, with original content you typed out yourself,
    you are the original author and you hold the "copyright" by default.

    However unless you register the copyright with US Gov you have virtually no
    protection against anyone infringing on your work, or in other words you
    can not sue, until you register your copyright.

    You can sue up to 100,000$ per infringement to my knowledge per registered
    copyright. It only works best if you copyright prior to noticing someone using your work.

    Realistically - you shouldn't have to worry about copyrights with running a lawn care service site, unless someone, a competitor especially, uses your images like samples of work on their site, etc, etc

    And in that case a phone call or an email will resolve that issue.
    Intelectual property attorney's are expansive (trust me)
     
  4. Turboguy

    Turboguy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,960

    I agree that there is more protection filing a copywrite notice with the copywrite office. It is only $ 35.00 and you can download the forms at http://www.copyright.gov/forms/

    However for a typical lawn service company just putting the copywrite notice at the bottom of the page is enough to scare off most anyone from stealing photos or text and if they do it is usually not worth doing much other than contacting them and asking them to remove your photos.

    Yes, if someone writes a lawncare book or something more unique than the official copywrite is worth the small investment.
     
  5. mach1webdesign

    mach1webdesign LawnSite Member
    Posts: 7

    I'll second what Turboguy said. In fact, you don't even have to post the copyright notice and it's still copyrighted. Just by the fact that you wrote it and it is your own words, it is not legal for someone else to use without your permission. The copyright at the bottom just serves as a notice that you are not allowing it to be copied. Filing the form with the government would give you proof of ownership that you could use should you need to sue. That is my understanding.
     
  6. HeyLook-Media

    HeyLook-Media LawnSite Member
    Posts: 13

    I have to agree the © is mostly B.S. In many cases you can however send a cease and desist to there webhosting provider (usually a registered letter so it gets some attention) and they would rather suspend the site than risk dealing with any legal issues.
     
  7. steveparrott

    steveparrott Sponsor
    Posts: 1,174

    Putting a copyright symbol on the bottom of the page is a good practice but not required. The moment content is published it is automatically protected under copyright law.

    Filing text and images with the copyright office is not essential, but makes prosecution of offenders an open and shut case.

    Still, I don't bother with filing because I have plenty of proof that my images belong to me (original raw files, links to their appearance in our gallery, signed release forms from homeowners and contractors).

    As far as protecting text, that doesn't concern me as much as images, text doesn't really brand your company like images do.

    Every week, I find 2 or 3 websites using my images illegally. Most are content farms. In every case so far, the offender removes the image almost immediately after receiving my harshly worded email. These sites know full well that domain providers and hosting companies will take down these sites if they are found stealing images. Google will also cancel their ad revenue programs.
     

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