Domains, Coding and Copyrights!! How Do You Protect Yourself and Your Website?

Jul 12, 2019

Whether you want to start a blog where you can write book reviews or you want to make a website to support your florist business, you might find yourself with questions regarding intellectual property law. What parts of your website are protected? Is there anything you should avoid so you don’t infringe upon anyone else’s intellectual property?

The professionals at Garcia-Zamor would love to help you get started on the right foot! For a more general overview, here are a few things to keep in mind.

Websites Can Be Protected By Copyright

This might feel counterintuitive. As you delve into law you’ll discover that websites are composed of parts that do receive intellectual property protection and can range from unique bits of coding to art and text. That said, website designs can be protected by a copyright.1 This means that your website’s design should be unique. Just because you love the look of another website doesn’t mean it’s okay to mimic it! This weirdness is due to our changing society and intellectual property law is growing along with the internet.

One of the best ways to protect yourself and your website is to register with a domain name that reflects your trademark. You may also wish to trademark any likely abbreviations of your website’s domain name and also registering the abbreviation as a domain and forwarding that to your website. This will encourage traffic and catch anyone who might have misremembered the web address!

Protected Content

So what content can you post on your website? The first thing to keep in mind is that you will need to have the rights to any images you use or make sure you follow the terms of use for any images that you don’t own but have been allowed to use with permission. You are also allowed to reference works if you are transforming them in some way. This can include book reviews and film analysis. You are not allowed to post excerpts from a book or a script without permission. Take care with images on your website as you will often need to have been granted the rights by the photographer and any people depicted in the photos.

Do I Need Disclaimers?

You don’t necessarily need to post a disclaimer that content on your website belongs to you. That said, if you’re concerned about others attempting to use your work, you might find that disclaimers can deter others from claiming that they thought they were using your materials in fair use. You may also wish to post a disclaimer if you post a link to any outside websites letting readers know they are leaving your website and that you are not responsible for any content on outside websites.

Need More Help?

Do you have more questions about your legal needs as you get ready to launch your new website? Contact Garcia-Zamor today so you can make the best legal choices to protect your work and defend copyright of the content of your website if necessary! Our two decades of experience will give you confidence as you move forward on the internet.

1 Intellectual Property and E-commerce: How to Take Care of Your Business’ Website