The subject of Copyright is a very sensitive one.
Nowadays, content is being produced in the form of articles, videos, infographics, and even images and photographs.
Moreover, the upsurge of the World Wide Web has led to the production of millions of blog posts on a daily basis.
So, it has become very important for you to make sure that your original content is protected all the way as you go on to promote and distribute it over the Internet.
In this digital world when user-generated content is published all over the web it is also important to protect your work with copyright so that no one can copy your work.
As a blogger, you may face this issue that a lot of other website copies your content, images, etc. without your permission and without giving any credit to you.
So it is very important to protect your content with the help of Copyright.
Here, we describe what Copyright and Proper Copyright Format is. We also show you how to remove copied content from Google Search.
Table of Contents
What is Copyright?
Basically, Copyright is a law that provides you with the ownership of the things that you create.
It may be a painting, a novel, a poem, a photograph, or even a blog post.
If you have created it, you own it.
It’s the Copyright Law that assures the ownership.
The Copyright Law grants the content owner with several rights. It includes:
- The right to reproduce the work.
- The right to perform the work
- The right for distributing copies of the work
- The right to prepare derivative works
- The right to display the work publicly
These are the rights that are offered by the Copyright Law.
No one can violate them legally.
It means no one can make copies or perform a piece written by you. Unless you give your consent (Ok).
However, it’s important to note that copyright law covers the “form of material expression” and not the actual concepts, techniques, ideas, or facts in a particular work.
So, it is necessary to fix work in a tangible form for receiving copyright protection. It can take the form of stories written on paper and original paintings on canvas.
In addition to the rights offered by Copyright Law, the copyright owner can authorize other people to do any of the rights that are mentioned above.
So, a copyright owner can transfer his or her exclusive rights to others as well.
Usually, the transfer of copyright is done through a contract.
It is not legally required to record the transfer of copyright with the Copyright Office. However, it is advised that you should possess a legal record of the transaction.
In case an author or artist creates a piece of work during his or her employment, the creator is not deemed to be the copyright owner.
This situation comes under “work made for hire.” The copyright ownership rests with the employer or the one who commissioned the work.
For example, if an employee creates articles for a company, then, in this case, the company becomes the copyright owner and not the actual writer.
Registering Your Copyright
It is not necessary to secure copyright protection (in work) by registering it with the U.S. Copyright Office.
That said, it does hold advantages.
For example, by registering your copyright, you get to have a public record of the copyright claim.
Moreover, copyright registration is also required (for works of U.S. origin) in case you (the copyright owner) want to file an infringement lawsuit in court.
Finally, when you register your copyright (before an infringement occurs or within three months of publishing your work), you can recover attorney’s fees and statutory damages in the event of a lawsuit.
The copyright application consists of three basic elements:
- The application form
- A non-refundable filing fee
- A non-returnable “deposit” of a copy of your work
The best way to registering your copyright is to do it online. You can do it through the electronic Copyright Office (eCO).
Online copyright registration has several advantages such as quicker processing time, lower filing fees, as well as you can track your status online.
The Limits of Copyright Protection
It should be noted that copyright law only covers the form or manner in which the ideas or information have been manifested. It is known as the “form of material expression.”
So, the copyright law does not cover the actual ideas, facts, techniques, or concepts that are contained in the copyrighted work.
For instance, Superman comic books are copyrighted.
So, they cannot be distributed or sold without prior authorization from the copyright owner.
Similarly, the copyright goes on to prohibit the creation of works involving the Superman character present in comic books.
However, it should be noted that the copyright does not prohibit anyone from creating a work involving a super-human character in general.
It should be noted that things not covered by copyright law can be covered using other forms of intellectual property.
For example ideas, methods, systems, procedures, and processes can be protected under patent law.
Similarly, titles, slogans, symbols, and names cannot be copyrighted. However, they can be trademarked.
Copyright Notice Format
It is necessary to format a Copyright Notice correctly. You can place Copyright Notice on your Blog or website for the article you publish.
In fact, a copyright notice identifies you as the owner of the work and shows to the public that your work is protected.
A correctly formatted copyright notice on your work ensures that no one can publish your work without your permission.
Moreover, it makes sure that no person can claim that the infringement of your copyright was innocent.
Here, we illustrate the steps that you need to take for correctly formatting copyright.
You can start your copyright notice by forming the symbol “(c).” It is the lower case letter “c” with a parenthesis on either side of the “c.”
However, you can also use the symbol of a “c” with a circle around it such as ©. You can even use the word “Copyright.”
Next, you need to insert a space after the symbol © and place the current year in numerals, such as “2017”.
If it happens to be a new edition of work that you published in an earlier year, then you should also place the earlier year, followed by a comma and space, and put in the current year, as “2015, 2017.”
Next, you have to insert a space after the current year and key in your legal name.
So, your final copyright notice would look like this: “© 2017 Jack Smith.” If there is a co-author, then that person’s name will be attached to yours by the word “and,” as in “Jack Smith and Robert Peters.”
You can also add the phrase “All rights reserved” to your copyright notice.
However, this phrase is not legally required. Your copyright notice will then read, as in “All rights reserved © 2017, Jack Smith.”
You can protect your unpublished work by having the following copyright notice format: “Unpublished work © 2017 Jack Smith.”
You can place the copyright notice of a book at the back of the title page.
However, you can also place the copyright notice on the front of the title page. Plus, you can have it on the first or last page of the main body of the book, and either side at the front or back cover.
Acceptable location for a copyright notice varies for other products like software programs, websites, and motion pictures.
How to format your Website Copyright Notice
It’s a common practice to have a copyright notice on websites.
In fact, most websites have a copyright notice on them.
However, it’s not technically required.
Moreover, by law, it is not required to have a copyright notice on your website.
That said, it is a good idea to have a copyright notice on your website. It prevents confusion and even deters potential infringers.
Here’s the formula for copyright notice:
© YYYY Author. Rights statement.
It consists of the following elements:
- The copyright symbol – ©
- The year in which the site was launched or published (e.g., 2016). It could even be a range of years (e.g., 2010-2016).
- The name of the owner (e.g., your company name).
- A “rights statement.”
The “rights statement” can take the following form:
- All rights reserved.
- Some rights reserved.
- No rights reserved.
Here’s an example:
© 2016 Smart, Inc. All rights reserved.
Yes, that’s it.
Now, you can easily go ahead and write your copyright notice correctly!
What is DMCA? (Digital Millennium Copyright Act)
The DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) is a United States digital rights management (DRM) law that was enacted on 28th October 1998 by then-President Bill Clinton.
It was created as an updated version of copyright laws for dealing with special challenges and regulating digital material.
Basically, DMCA aims to protect the rights of both copyright owners and consumers.
The law complies with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Copyright Treaty and the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty.
DMCA was drafted by the collaborative effort of publishers, scientists, civil rights groups and others.
It outlaws many entirely ethical, and sometimes necessary activities.
For example, security-related tasks that include circumventing security systems, reverse engineering software, or encryption research would be illegal.
In April 2003, a group named as the Broadband and Internet Security Task Force came with an update to the law that is called as “Super DMCA.”
It has added important concepts, like the “intent to defraud” to the stipulations of the original law.
DMCA gives your ownership of the content as you publish it over the internet. Whoever published the content first gets the ownership for this you don’t need to register your content for copyright.
If someone copied your content, you could send a DMCA Takedown Notice to the website owner, and he has to remove the content from his website.
For example, someone copied your article and published it on Facebook, you can send a DMCA notice to Facebook to remove that post from Facebook.
How to Remove Copied Content from Google Search
When you go on and publish content online, there is much possibility that others can copy it and then publish it on their site.
It may be out of ignorance.
However, it’s you who has to suffer.
You go on to lose traffic and ranking, as well.
Moreover, Google may deindex the pages that have duplicate content.
Chances are quite high that the copied web page gets ranked high as compared to your original stuff. Further up, post duplication is a major reason for attracting website penalty.
However, the good thing is that you can report these copied pages. Google will remove it from the web-index. So, your original ranking will be restored.
In case you report duplicate content that’s on the BlogSpot/Blogger platform, Google will delete that duplicate content.
In fact, Google takes 2-10 days for processing your request.
You can also pick a line from your blog post and carry out a Google search with quotes around it.
You can even use TYNT script on your blog. It will let you earn a link back from “copy-paste spammers.” So, you get to track of who all are copying your content.
How to report copied content to Google
Once you get to know your copied content, head over to Google DMCA page and select “Web Search” or “Blogger.”
Here, I have selected “Blogger” as an example.
On the next page, you need to select the following options:
Google Products: BlogSpot/Blogger
What can we help you with? I have a legal issue that is not mentioned above
What can we help you with? I have found content that may violate my copyright
Are you the copyright owner or authorized to act on his/her behalf? Yes, I am the copyright owner
What is the allegedly infringing work in question? Other
Please use this form
Once you select this, it will provide a link to “this form.”
Here, you can report those pages that have copied your content.
Note: In case the copying website is not BlogSpot, you need to select “Web Search” as the first option.
Now, you can fill the form to report all of the links.
You can use a single form for reporting multiple links.
Before you submit, do re-check your request.
It may consume your time, but it works the best.
Within a few days, you will get rid of all such copied content and regain your stolen traffic.
In case those blogs (that have copied your content) use AdSense on their pages, you can even report it to the Google AdSense team for the violation of DMCA. It will cost the spammer their AdSense account.
It’s always a good thing to report all the copied content to Google. It will help you to regain your lost traffic and rankings in Google search.
Well, it’s in your interest to protect your original content over the Internet whether it is in the form of articles, videos, or another kind of stuff.
Getting to know the Copyright Law and Proper DMCA format will certainly help you a lot. You can even report copied content to Google.
We hope that the post has cleared your doubts about Copyright, Copyright Format, DMCA, and how to remove copied content from Google Search.
We have endeavored to provide you with valuable information on all these crucial topics.
If you liked the post, do share it with your friends and colleagues. We welcome your comments and suggestions.