When a piece of work is brought into a tangible form, it automatically acquires copyright protection. It is still a good idea to preserve each document with time, date and some official stamp. If ever this record has to be reproduced to challenge infringement, this data will be very helpful in influencing the decision in the owner’s favour. Like any other form of work such as art, design, music, film, drama or research work, creating a new website also needs good planning and preservation to avoid plagiarism.
When creating a new website, it is desirable to attain and place a copyright notice on your website so as to announce your ownership towards any work that is displayed here from time to time. Such projects generally take quite some time especially if you design it yourself, without any professional help. It is preferable to keep a track of drafts and alterations with dates so no charges of infringement can come upon. Some authors post a copy of their work to themselves at every step. Not every piece is perfect the very first time, any changes or developments to a page or even a single element must be in record. Mailing this data to yourself is a further proof of when and where the composition originated. This method is called “poor man’s copyright”.
When working on the protection of your website from plagiarism, you must also be careful of the copyright of others’ work. Even if you use someone else’s work for inspiration, you must seek permission before you prove fit for a charge of violation yourself.
For authenticity, the work may also be registered with the USPTO. But, as this service is quite expensive, another third party can come to assistance. They may be a Solicitor, a Notary or an Escrow Service. This is sometimes necessary because the poor man’s copy” has certain limitations therefore, its credibility is often challenged by professionals.
Though there are other options available, USPTO is taken to be the highest grade of authenticity. The US Copyright Office assures displaying your copyright certificate on all public forums to assert your ownership. A treaty called Berne Convention has been signed by certain other countries accepting copyright owner in US to hold the same rights in their countries too.
An application should be filed for copyright. The list of items to be protected must be stated as more than one copyright may apply in certain cases. For instance, a song has two parts: the instrumental is copyrighted as musical work and the lyrics as literary work.
Any changes that occur in the website with time should also be saved in this copyright record.
Sometimes copyright does not provide you a complete possession of your website as ideas, translation in foreign languages, domain names, titles, names and slogans, except in certain circumstances, are not fit for the policy.