When you make good things for public consumption, your competitors—far away or right here in the Appalachian region—are going to want to steal them. This is why your website needs a copyright.
What Do People Steal from Websites?
You may have noticed, but we’re big on content.
In fact, every digital marketing professional is (or, at least, they should be). Fresh content is one of the most important ways to improve and maintain your SEO, which is how people find your website. In other words, you always need brand-new words and brand-new images on your site.
And good fresh content is how you keep people on your website, reading and clicking, getting to know your company, and ultimately associating your brand with authority and trust in your industry—whether you
So when your Carolina small business partners with High Country Digital Marketing, we’re going to push fresh content, always. And whether you take on that task yourself, or you sign up for our professional content services to be geared toward your particular industry in the western North Carolina region, we are going to push you to have the best content on your site.
The problem is, other people want content for their sites, too. And for some unsavory folks, the best way to get good content is to steal it.
What is a Website Copyright?
The good news is, your website is already copyrighted. Anything you make is. U.S. Copyright law protects “original works.” We’re used to this applying to, say, music or books, but websites also have copyright protection. Absolutely, 100%.
The problem is, well, the internet.
Yeah, this is a fabulous ol’ online playground we’ve got here where you’re only limited by your imagination. Unfortunately, it’s like the Wild Wild West, in that lawlessness runs rampant, too. As well as ignorance.
That means, in a lot of cases, people can steal your content and not even know they’re stealing. They might not have thought about copyrights at all. Or they might have incorrectly assumed, for whatever reason, that your website content was free for the taking.
After all, there’s a lot of free stuff on the internet. But your stuff should not be part of it.
So How Do I Take Advantage of Copyright Protection?
Easy enough: You just tell people that your website is copyrighted.
Now, maybe some folks just need a “friendly reminder,” so we like to make it clear. And the way to do that is with a simple copyright statement at the bottom of your website.
Check the websites you visit often and you’ll probably see them there, too. They may differ a little in how they’re worded or where they appear, but chances are, they’ll be there: “Copyright [year] [business name]. All rights reserved.”
That basically means, “I own this, and I am not forfeiting any of my rights of ownership.” It acts as clarification and/or reminder that this is not free content. And it removes plausible deniability: No one can see that and claim not to know that the content was copyrighted.
How Do I Create a Copyright Statement for my Website?
Well, the really short answer for my clients here is, “I’ll do it for you.” But this is what it entails.
At the bottom of all of the pages of this website, you’ll see: “Copyright © 2023 Deckard & Company. All Rights Reserved.”
Perhaps the most important part—aside from the word “copyright”—is the date. By placing the current year in the copyright, you are telling people that this website (including its content) is currently owned. And then you list your company’s name to clarify that you are the one who owns it.
The current date clarifies that your new creations are always updating all over the site. (This is also helpful for people who are just making sure that your company, you know, still exists and is paying attention. It’s a good indicator that all the information on your site is up-to-date—literally.)
You may or may not have noticed, but lots of things go by the wayside on the internet. (That abandonment, by the way, is what happens when you don’t keep up with your SEO.) People who are trolling for free stuff often go looking for such abandoned sites.
Your copyright notice tells them to keep moving.
(Note: You can also include an initial publication date for your website, in which case it would appear as a range: “2017-2023.” This can show that you have been creating new things here for however long, but it’s not always necessary.)