copyright symbol
In the UK, your written work, such as website copy and blogs, are automatically protected by copyright as long as you can prove that you originally created the work. 
However, there are ways to enhance your work to increase its copyright protection, one of which is registering your work. This ensures that your work is protected against theft or someone using the majority of your work and publishing it as their own. 
Let’s look at this in more detail. 

1. What is 'Copyright'? 

Copyright is a legal way of protecting your work, which is also known as your intellectual property (IP), from being infringed upon, i.e. stolen. Whether you are a dedicated blogger, website creator, social media content creator or you produce any form of copy, it is copyright protected. 
Whilst it must be in its final form to be copyrighted, as soon as it has been published, online or offline, it is automatically protected under UK copyright law. However, adding a copyright symbol - © - or adding the words Copyright / Copr. to the bottom of the work, along with the date it was produced and the copyright owner’s name, ensures great protection. 

2. What work is protected by a copyright? 

Not everything included in a blog can be copyrighted, such as any images or statistics you use from another source. However, the types of intellectual property that can be protected include: 
Any literary, artistic, musical or dramatic work that is original, including its photography and illustrations. 
Any non-literary work, i.e. web content, software or databases. 
Music and sound recordings. 
Television, film and video recordings. 
The layout of written, musical or dramatic work that are published editions. 

3. Who owns the copyright? 

Technically, the copyright owner is the person that originally produced the work. However, if the work was produced by an employee or director of a company during their employment or when they were acting as a director, it is owned by the company.  
Similarly, if the person that wrote the blog was employed by you, i.e. you paid them to write the blog, you own the copyright and not the original writer.  
Therefore, it is always important to understand exactly who owns the final completed work at the beginning of the project. 

4. What does copyright protect? 

Work, or intellectual property, that is copyrighted protects it from others: 
Copying your work as their own. 
Distributing copies of your work, free of charge or for a fee. 
Lending or renting copies of your work. 
Performing, playing or showing your work in public. 
Adapting your work for their own purposes. 
Publishing your work on the internet. 
However, you are entitled to transfer, sell or licence your copyrighted work. If you choose to licence your work, you can register it with a licensing body who will agree and issue licences to users and collect royalties on your behalf, i.e. the licensing of music or broadcasts to other providers. You can also choose to waive or keep your ‘moral rights’ over the work which includes: 
Being identified as the author of the work; 
Object to the way your work is being presented, i.e. it is damaging to your reputation; 
Object to any changes that have been made to your work. 
Your work is also protected from people doing the same overseas under international copyright agreements, such as the Berne Convention. 
In the UK, copyright protection has been in place for 70 years, but it can be different in other countries, and differs depending on the type of work. 

5. Why do I need to copyright my blogs? 

There is a misconception that because the work has been published on the internet, it is not protected by copyright. It is just that; a misconception. Whether your work is published offline or online, it is still copyright protected and not free for anyone to use. It has still taken time to create the content, or taken the person you have hired time, and therefore it should not be infringed upon, i.e. stolen or ‘borrowed’ by another party. 
If another party copies your work, it can create a number of problems for you: 
Dilutes your brand – you’ve spent time and invested money in establishing your brand identity, offline and online. If there are identical copies of your brand content on other websites, particularly those of your competitors, it is likely to dilute your brand awareness and brand identity. 
Who’s the original creator? If there are duplicates of your content online, it makes it harder for search engines to identify the original creator of the work. This may result in your work not being indexed and therefore it won’t show up in search engine results. You and your business will lose out to competitors. 
Audience trust – if search engines are not able to identify who the original creator is, it is very likely that your target audience will have the same problem. This will impact trust and transparency with your audience. 

6. How should my copyright be formatted? 

Although your blogs are copyright protected as soon as they are published, it is wise to ensure that protection is visible to the public by adding a copyright notice in the footer which includes the copyright symbol and date of publication. The date rage should cover all of the content you want copyrighted. 
For instance, if your first bit of content was posted in 2019, and you have recent content for 2022, the proper format is: 
Copyright © 2019-2022. All Rights Reserved 

7. Is my copyright being infringed? 

One of the problems with keeping up-to-date with any copyright infringements online is how do you know when someone has copied your work?  
Copyright specialist websites such as Grammarly, Tynt and Copyscape can be used to detect plagiarism online and protect your work. If you do discover your work has been copied, it is best to contact that person or company and advise them they are in breach of copyright law and ask them to remove it. 

Need Help? 

At it'seeze Website Design, you're never alone. If you want help updating your website, let's arrange a website review. We can make content suggestions, provide training, and help make sure that your website never gets stagnant.  
Just contact us to get the ball rolling. 
Feedback or questions? You can comment below, or contact us directly. 
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