Copywrite vs Copyright. What’s the difference?
The discussion of copywrite vs. copyright is tricky.
There are still some tricky concepts to get through before we get to the point where you need to use this information in your own work. I’m going to introduce them all now, so you won’t have to wade through any of this when you get published.
In the process, I’ll also introduce a quick-reference guide to help you remember copyright.
Let’s start with the basics.
Copywrite vs Copyright
What is copywrite?
Copywriting is one of the most critical elements of any and all forms of marketing and advertising.
Copywriting consists of the words, either written or spoken, marketers use to try to get people to take an action after reading or hearing them.
A good copywriter will use persuasive language to encourage the reader or viewer to take a particular action, such as buying a product, signing up for a service, or clicking on a link.
The product, called copy, is written content that aims to increase brand awareness and persuade a person or group to take a particular action.
What is copyright?
Copyright is the legal protection given to works such as your blog posts, articles, and other content.
Copyright is not the same as ownership. You do not “own” copyright. The copyright attaches to the specific work you create. Once you’ve written that work, that work has the copyright.
To make things a little more complicated, passing the copyright to others happens in specific way:
Absolute passing : If you give someone free permission to use your work, they can do whatever they want with that work. The copyright never reverts back to you. This how you “sell” your work.
This right will only exist so long as the contract holds. If you want to sell your work for longer than a one-year contract, for example, then you’ll want to make a grant of perpetual rights. That’s when copyright transfers from you to your buyer.
That sounds complex, but once you understand it, it’s fairly intuitive.
Copywrite vs. Copyright: Making sure you use it correctly
If you use copyright correctly, you’ll protect yourself from the copyright police.
Copyright protects ideas and expressions too small to be protectable via trademark or trade dress. Those ideas can be expressed in any form and by anyone.
Think of it this way: If you copied your blog post on paper to send in a referral form, copyright protects the copy, not the idea that created that particular copy.
Understanding an assignment of copyright
The important concept to understand about copyright is that it should be a perpetual right for your work.
That means your copyright assignment should be a grant of perpetual rights. A momentary license may not be a good choice for you in some situations.
Here’s an example of copyright assignment:
“Assignment of copyright to Website Consulting LLC: May 1, 2016. All copyrights on the work that are owned by Website Consulting LLC are assigned to Website Consulting LLC. Subject to the terms of this assignment, Website Consulting LLC grants the right to the work to be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, deleted, stored, sold, exploited, or otherwise used as assigned. This assignment includes, without limitation, all copyrights on the work that are owned by Website Consulting LLC. This assignment may be assigned to a third party by Website Consulting LLC. The assignment expires on May 1, 2018.”
Notice, the assignment doesn’t use the phrase “royalty free.” Because the assignment is revoking all rights to your work, not just the right to sell your work.
Squaring away copyright: Quick copyright reference
Remember: Copyright gives your work protection. It’s similar to trademark — except, unlike trademark, copyright protects your work for life.
The copyright symbol: © .
Use the year of first publication: ©
The year of contribution (work added in after the publication date) ©
Use the term derivative work: ©
The term artistic work: ®
Use the term mixed work: ™
Copywrite vs. Copyright Conclusion
Copyright is a system of legal protection. It’s composed of three main elements. Review each to ensure you fully understand copyright.
Copywriting is the act or occupation of writing text for the purpose of advertising or other forms of marketing.
Copyright protects you, not your work.
Copywrite is the action of writing text.
What does a copywriter do?
A copywriter is a wordsmith who crafts advertising and marketing materials. A copywriter’s job is to create compelling and persuasive copy that sells products or services. The copywriter must understand the needs and wants of the target audience and craft a message that speaks to them.
What does a copyright do?
A copyrighter is someone who specializes in writing and enforcing copyright law. They also work to educate the public about copyright law and help resolve disputes between authors and users of copyrighted material.