How To Copyright A Blog in 3 Easy Steps

How To Copyright Your BlogDoes your blog have a copyright policy?

If you write great content, sooner or later, someone reading your blog will want to reuse your original content in another context.

Most people will respect your copyrights if you let them know what you expect. But even the most well meaning among us sometimes forget to ask for permission beforehand.

By having a clear and visible copyright policy, you encourage readers to reuse your work with permission, and according to rules that you set.

How To Copyright Policy A Blog in 3 Easy Steps

Here’s a simple, 3-step process for adding a copyright policy to your individual blog:

1.  Think about how you want others to be able to reuse your content: Is it free to reuse?  By whom?  How much?

You may be happy to allow others to reuse your content, as long as you receive the proper attribution and a link back to your site. Or, you may require others to license your content for commercial uses.

Either way, let people know what you require.

2.    Add a copyright notice to the footer: 

Your blog is protected by copyright, even if you don’t have a visible copyright notice. But, having one provides an added benefit:  it reminds others of their legal (and moral) responsibilities when it comes to reusing your content.

At a minimum, the copyright symbol and notice should be part of the universal footer of your blog, visible at the bottom of every page. For many bloggers, this will already be part of your blog’s theme.  If it isn’t, add it.

As an example, a copyright notice can look like this:

© [Your Name] [The Year] [Rights Clarification].

Jonathan Bailey, author of Plagiarism Today, thoroughly explains each element of the copyright notice, in his post, “How To Write A Copyright Notice”.

3.  Add a more detailed copyright policy to your blog (sometimes called “Terms of Use”) — the more prominent and visible, the better.

Why?  Because a copyright notice in your footer is too easily overlooked, and doesn’t provide needed details for your reader.

Adding a copyright policy gives you a place to explain specifically what reuses you’ll allow, and how people can go about gaining permission.   Post this copyright policy visibly on your blog.

Is Your Copyright Policy Working? Try a Digital Solution

Even with a copyright policy and clear terms of use, there’s no guarantee that readers will comply.  As an added layer of protection, a digital solution, such as iCopyright’s free plugin, can help.

Instead of relying on readers to proactively read your policy, it makes the process of giving permission to republish your content automatic and seamless.

(To see how the iCopyright Toolbar works, check out the top of this blog post. 

Notice how clicking on Print, Email, Share, or Republish reminds users of your copyrights and promotes a variety of options for reuse.  Now check out the bottom of this post.  The interactive copyright notice provides an additional reminder to readers to respect your copyrights.

As a bonus, installing the iCopyright Toolbar embeds a default Terms of Use page, easily editable by you, saving you the work of creating one from scratch).

If you have questions about how to copyright a blog, or even about the iCopyright Toolbar, leave us a note in the comments!

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