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What is a copyright?

A copyright is a form of intellectual property protection that gives creators exclusive rights to copy, display, distribute or perform their work. This protection is available for original works fixed in a tangible form, such as literary pieces, dramatic performances, photographs, movies, music, and software.

Copyrighting your work

Each country has different levels of protection for copyright owners, so you should check your local laws or consult legal advice to make sure your claim is valid. Some countries grant automatic copyright, while others require you to submit the claim with the national copyright office. Additionally, if you create a work under contract your employer will likely be the copyright owner.

When thinking about getting a business license you might want to also consider copyrighting anything that might need protection. The same goes for when registering your business.

In order to show others that your content is copyrighted, you can post the copyright logo next to your name, as well as the years you have owned said content. For example, you can add the following at the bottom of your website: Copyright © 1992-2020 [YourName]. If still need to create a website to display your ideas or content, you can use a website builder like Wix.

It’s important to know that others can freely use ideas, concepts, discoveries, facts, techniques and theories from your work. For example, a cartoon about fictional animals is an idea that anyone can reproduce, but they cannot use the same names and illustrations as yours.

When starting a business or online store, it's important to be aware of what you can protect by copyright, and what others can use without requiring your permission.


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Intellectual Property



The differences between copyright, trademark and patent

While all three are types of intellectual property, they protect different types of work:

  • A copyright protects a creative or artistic work, like a painting, website or novel.

  • A trademark protects a single word, phrase, symbol, or design that can be absolutely associated with one brand.

  • A patent temporarily protects an invention on the condition that its method or process be made public. It applies to creations like machines, technologies and pharmaceuticals.

Related Term

Intellectual Property

Related Term


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