How to Copyright a Webpage

By Louis Kroeck

Your webpage is technically copyrighted as soon as it is placed in a tangible medium such as the Internet. In order to further protect your website you should consider registering for a formal copyright so that you will have the ability to sue any third parties that might misuse your materials. Copyrighting your webpage is not a difficult task, but copyright protection will only extend to certain aspects of your webpage, such as writings, artwork and photographs. A copyright will not protect your domain name, any functional aspects of your website, or any elements of your website that are common or otherwise part of the public domain.

Your webpage is technically copyrighted as soon as it is placed in a tangible medium such as the Internet. In order to further protect your website you should consider registering for a formal copyright so that you will have the ability to sue any third parties that might misuse your materials. Copyrighting your webpage is not a difficult task, but copyright protection will only extend to certain aspects of your webpage, such as writings, artwork and photographs. A copyright will not protect your domain name, any functional aspects of your website, or any elements of your website that are common or otherwise part of the public domain.

Step 1

Visit the United States Copyright Office's website to obtain a copyright application form or register to file for a copyright online through the Copyright Office's ECO system. The online form is less expensive and it will allow you to upload a copy of your webpage.

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Step 2

Complete the copyright application by providing the Copyright Office with your background information or the information of the author of the webpage, the title of your webpage, the date the webpage was first placed online, and a statement as to whether you have registered your webpage for copyright protection before.

Step 3

Upload a copy of your webpage to the Copyright Office if you opted for the online application. If you have submitted a paper application you will be required to mail the Copyright Office a CD containing your webpage. Be sure to provide a complete copy of your webpage including all HTML files and graphics.

Step 4

Pay the applicable filing fee to the Copyright Office. Check the Copyright Office's website to learn current fees for online and mail applications.

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How to Obtain a Copyright in Pennsylvania

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