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Copyright and disclosure statement- are they necessary?

kurt
Posts: 405
Joined: 10 May 11
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Copyright and disclosure statement- are they necessary?

I have a couple of questions about your website's footer. I was looking at Marks websites - WowBlackBook and DogObedienceAdvice, and I noticed he adds his copyright, and adds an affiliate disclosure statement to his footer. I searched the forum to see if I needed to have my website copyrighted and I found somebody's else post where they were asking the same thing. They wrote:

How do I copyright my website? Is it really necessary? Can I just write Copyright at the footer even without real copyright?

And, Michellerana replied:

By law, any original work is automatically copyrighted by the author. A copyright exists from the moment the work is created. But if you feel you need to protect your site further, you could register a copyright with the US Copyright Office.

So from that answer I take it that I do not need to get a copyright because it's already copyright automatically somehow. But, does that mean you can just write in the footer that it is copyrighted? Or is that illegal? Do you have to go to the US Copyright Office's website and register a copyright before you can legally write it into your footer? I'm not sure how Mark goes about that?

And what about the affiliate disclosure statement? Why does Mark add that to his footers? Is there some law about that, because I've noticed other websites that don't disclose the fact that they're an affiliate? If there isn't some law about it, I don't know why you'd want to mention that.
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cecille.l
Posts: 6999
Joined: 25 Feb 11
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Hi Kurt,

All original work done by an individual is automatically copyrighted to that person. To take somebody's article, for example, and pass it off as your own, without mentioning the original author of the article, puts you at risk of plagiarism. You can choose to indicate in your footer that your website is copyrighted. I do not think it's illegal, I see a lot of people doing this online.

The FTC requires that all promotions and endorsements in sales and marketing are transparent. We comply with this rule by adding the affiliate disclosure statement in the footer.
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Cecille


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kurt
Posts: 405
Joined: 10 May 11
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Awesome! Thank you Cecille for answering my questions. You answer does however, bring up another question. What if someone did still articles from your website. How can you prove that they're yours? And how do you get them in trouble for stealing from you? Is there somewhere you would go to report something like that?
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This topic was started on Jun 06, 2011 and has been closed due to inactivity. If you want to discuss this topic further, please create a new forum topic.