First of all, it is important to understand why you need to copyright your website. The means and methods for copyrighting can vary from place to place. Since, there may be some variation between how it is done in the UK and in the US, for instance.
More or less the idea behind copyright is the same and has to do with safeguarding what is commonly referred to as ‘intellectual property’ from theft or more appropriately ‘copyright infringement’ which ultimately ensures the integrity and originality of your material-in this case, your online material. It must also be understood that complete and absolute prevention may not be possible. That said, there are definitely strong mechanisms to provide sufficient deterrence to keep your material safe from others who may attempt to steal or to re-use it without the appropriate permission checks that would otherwise be in place to keep that from happening.
It is common place to expect writers, musicians, artists, authors, developers and individuals and groups from other similar professions to arrange for copyright but in the modern world of today with unlimited access to the internet and hence the success of the digital age, copyright is not only limited to the aforementioned professions. It has now become an important aspect for every field now because of all the information that is now freely and easily available on the internet in the form of online journals, websites, blogs, etc. The presence of copious business websites has also brought the idea further into play given that these websites contain a prominent amount of written material, photographs, videos, text, and audio which needs to be copyrighted for various reasons including the protection of the integrity of the people who may have developed this material along with the material itself. The material could be misused in any way in addition to any profits that the external party may be acquiring without crediting or taking permission from the original owner of the material.
It is illegal to violate any of the terms of copyright. However, complications may arise during prosecution of the offenders. In order to avoid this, the establishment of a record of ownership which is public in nature is done by way of ‘copyright registration’.
The most common method of approaching copyright is by visiting the copyright website itself which is going to be a government link for the respective state or country that you are living in or working from. The website then directs you to the steps you need to follow in order to register online through what is mostly known as the electronic Copyright Office. There is usually a non-refundable fee that will need to be paid. After this the processing will begin in order to register. Of course there will be some requirements that will need to be met but these will be expressly listed on the platform. A copy of the material will needed to be uploaded to the Copyright office or sent in via a computer disk or CD-ROM and in some occasions there may also be a requirement to have part or all of the work submitted in hard copy as well.
It is common to see websites marking their material with the Copyright symbol or with the phrase “All Rights Reserved” to signify the authenticity of authorship and also to thwart off any offenders. It was in fact later also not a legal requirement Yet, as stressed upon earlier this may not be enough and in case of unfavourable circumstances where infringement has occurred and prosecution of the offending party is in motion then Copyright registration will clear the way of any such hurdles and put the ball in the court for the registered party. The offenders can then be penalized and the victimized party can then have the integrity of their work back and no longer be under ‘victim’ status. Copyright registration is basically an additional step in guarding the materials and safeguarding the owner’s position in case of the need to file a suit in court for infringement.
In nature, a website basically is copyrighted at the time it is developed. Which also automatically suggests that the material used on the website itself is not actually infringing the rules of copyright. When the owners of a website have copyrights for the material shared on their website they have the authority to reproduce the material, work on and derivative projects, along with the distribution and the public display of the material. It is basically then provided that the work is original thus thwarting any doubt from the audiences. Users are actually more likely to come back for the services of a given website if they know that it is an authentic source for information so that can invest their time and resources on said website so it can be said that copyrighting a website also aids in inviting more traffic establishing a good reputation for the business, for instance.
People can still make use of small amounts of information taken from the copyrighted website and use it for whatever purpose (could even include a parody) as long as they still mention the source i.e. the original website. This would then generally be considered fair use.
Programmers can also be hired to provide solutions via the use of plug-ins, HTML and Java Script in order to protect images used on a website. This would be especially useful since it is now very easy to steal, save, copy and repost images on the internet.
Almost anyone could do this with the help of some of the most user friendly and simple software available for free. However if you lack the technical skills required to do that and also lack the funds needed to hire a professional for this purpose then watermarking is another very simple method for letting the viewers know that you declare that a given image as your intellectual property, if they then try to remove your watermark from the image without crediting the website then they will in fact be stealing your intellectual property.