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Expired Copyright


An expired copyright is a strong indication that your website is out of business or on its way there. Use ErrNET.3W® to verify your copyright is current!

According to the U.S. Copyright Office, “Copyright is a form of protection provided to the authors of original works of authorship, including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works.” The basis of the U.S. law is the Copyright Act of 1976, which gives authors of original works exclusive rights to the works and the option to grant usage rights to others.

Original website material, including graphics, content, and visual elements is copyrighted from the moment of its creation. A website copyright notice states that the material displayed is not to be used without permission of the owner. To protect website content, and communicate this restriction of use to your users, a current copyright should be displayed in the footer of each page on a website. For example, “Copyright 2016 Google,” “© 2016 Google,” “© 2007-2016 Google” or “Copyright 2007-2016 Google.” The “2007-2016” copyright example claims legal protection for when the website was first published, in this case 2007, and the current year, 2016. This protects the website content from when it was first created and all changes, updates, additions etc., made up to the current year.

To take copyright protection one step further, copyright registration is an option when protecting online works. Registering a copyright provides a public record of ownership, plus registration is necessary before filing an infringement suit in court, should you ever need to do so. You can register online or by mail, by providing an application, a non-refundable fee (which is currently $35 for online registration), and a non-returnable deposit. The deposit is the entire work to be copyrighted (i.e. the website), which can be uploaded or sent in via CD.

As far as international copyright protection, there is not a world-wide copyright, but many countries adhere to international copyright treaties and conventions for foreign works. Please review Circular 38a for a list of countries and their copyright laws. For more information on copyrights, how to register, and current fees, please visit www.copyright.gov.

A common website error is an out-of-date copyright, which indicates apathy or that you are no longer in business or on your way there. A current copyright is important because it conveys to customers that your website content is current and your business is active and thriving. This is important for attracting new customers and retaining existing customers. You need to give your customers confidence and peace of mind that you are there for them to support your product or service.

Our program ErrNET.3W® checks each web page of your site to verify that a current copyright is displayed in the footer of every page.


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