drdeath 22:01 29 Feb 2004

How do i copyright my website name ?? thanks in advance

  Sir Radfordin 23:02 29 Feb 2004

In most circumstance any original work you create will automatically have copyright protection. You do not have to apply for it, in fact you don't have to do anything except express it in 'writen' form.

It is normal practice to have the © symbol and the copyright holder and the year somewhere on the text so people know it is copyright protected. This is however not actually required.

note: copyright law is more complicated than detailed in this post!

  Forum Editor 00:25 01 Mar 2004

and there's no reason why you should need to do it anyway - once you've registered the name nobody else can use it unless you fail to renew it when your registration period expires.

You can only copyright what's called an original work - that is a painting,photograph,an article you've written, a sculpture, a play, a song, etc. etc. As Sir Radfordin has said - any piece of original work is automatically protected by copyright at the point of its creation, and in a copyright dispute you don't need to do anything except be able to prove that you created it, and show evidence of the date of creation. If anyone reproduces your copyright-protected work, and/or distributes it without your express consent (your licence) you may take action against them in the courts. You'll need to show evidence of your copyright, and also demonstrate the extent to which you have suffered a loss as a rsult of the infringement - damages may then be awarded at the court's discretion.

Contrary to what a lot of people think you can't copyright an idea, or a concept, so although you may come up with a revolutionary idea for a website for instance, anyone else can do the same thing with complete freedom. Trademarks are different - they are able to be registered, although the process is complex, takes quite a while, and may be expensive. A trademark may be a symbol, a graphic, or a word, but it must pass several tests,one of which is to determine that it is 'unique' and not registered anywhere else in the world. The decision as to whether it may be registered is up to the trademark office, not you, and their decisions is final. The word 'Windows' is a registered trademark, as is the word 'Goldfish' and you may not use those words in connection with a service or product. If you do you may be liable to an action for trademark infringement, and have to pay substantial damages.

Finally there are patents. If you invent a unique product, or an industrial process you may apply for a patent. Once again, this is a complex and lengthy procedure, and once again the decision as to whether a patent will be granted is not up tp you - the patents office make the decision. Once you have your patent you may grant licences to other people who may then manufacture your product, or use the industrial process on payment of a fee. Patent infringement is again a matter for the courts, and like trademark infringement may attract substantial damages.

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