A Special Report  
Don't Steal My Copyright

Will Someone Steal
Your Copyright Online?
  Jim Edwards, (C) All Rights Reserved        =====================================

                          Theft of intellectual property?

Whether intentional or unintentional, the theft of intellectual property represents a real danger for everyone who publishes virtually anything on the Internet.

As more people set up shop online, many of them worry about having their words, articles, or other intellectual property stolen by others.

If you operate a website, or publish anything on the Internet, you need to understand what you do and do not own with respect to that website.

Failure to do so can result in very nasty situations and costly misunderstandings.

Virtually every day people ask me this question when it comes to copyrighting their material, either the website or a publication of some kind. They ask something like "Do I need to formally copyright my ebook, website, article, special report or some other publication?"

                  The answer quite simply: It depends!

I'm not a lawyer, however I do know that when you write something down or type it into your word processor, you automatically enjoy protection under U.S. and international copyright laws. In short, as soon as you write it down
you own it.

However, the online world has made it easier than ever to steal someone else's work, whether intentionally or not. To the degree you want to protect your copyright will dictate how formal you make the copyright process for your written works.

You can
      1. simply put a copyright notice on your material and leave it
      2. fill out some forms, send your work off to the Library of Congress (along with a check) and have your work formally copyrighted.

I regularly do both with my work.

However, just because you go through the formal copyright process, enforcement of your copyright will ultimately come down to your ability to find someone violating your copyright and pursuing it yourself.

In other words, first you must find someone violating your copyright online and then take appropriate action to make them stop. No online police force exists to patrol the web  looking for "violators!"

You start entering the gray areas when it you consider copywriting an actual website. Nobody owns the HTML tags it takes to display a web page on the Internet. However, someone can certainly own copyright to the words displayed on a website.

So, does that mean it's okay to download somebody else's website, take the words off, and substitute your own words using their framework of HTML and graphics?

                                       Not necessarily!

Someone can also hold the rights to graphics and codes they pay someone else to create for them and display on their website.

The U.S. Copyright Office offers a complete collection of information about how to copyright your information. Log on to www.loc.gov/copyright/
for the most comprehensive guide you will find anywhere online.

Pay particular attention to the FAQ page
which answers many important questions, including what copyright does and does not protect.

Go to www.copyright.gov/forms/ for all the proper forms necessary to officially file for your copyright.

Jim Edwards and Bruce Safran are co-creators of "The Online Marketer's & Website Owner's Legal Information Clinic" --  the authoritative guide to
protecting yourself and your website against needless harassment, lawsuits, and other legal problems. 

"Discover The TRUTH About Why the FTC or other Law Enforcement Agencies will "Raid" your Internet Business... and What YOU Can Do To Prevent It!"
Click Here for the Web Law Clinic

Jim Edwards, (C) All Rights Reserved  

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