Legal question + website copy protection?


My work partner and I have just finished to built a new community website about sport.
We also have created a Private Limited Company in UK (with the help of an accountant).

We both don't know anything about law...
So legally, we have copy/paste some Terms and Privacy from a similar site and modified them to fit to our site.
We also have added a xxx @ 2008 in the footer of the site

Are we missing to do to something legally or to be protected ? like register somewhere for the copyright, protect design, ideas ? etc...

As we are only 2 in the project, I guess it would be easy for a big company who likes our website to copy it in few month and use their strong marketing department to take the market.
Is there something we can do about that ?

Thank you very much for your help.

Legal Website

asked Nov 18 '09 at 23:19
23 points
Top digital marketing agency for SEO, content marketing, and PR: Demand Roll

4 Answers


There are several different types of intellectual property that are often confused:

  • Copyright gives you the author exclusive rights to exploit an original work for some specified time period. You don't need to register or anything for this.
  • Trademark refers to a 'distinctive sign or indicator' that is associated with you, your business or product, identifying it as coming from a unique source, and to distinguish it from others. You must register (and pay) for a trademark, and you must defend your trademark if needed otherwise it will be considered void.
  • Patents refer to a "a set of exclusive rights granted by a state ... to an inventor ... for a limited period of time in exchange for a public disclosure of an invention." More commonly now, a patent is an exclusive right to a non-obvious and unique 'idea'. (ie. Amazon's supposedly non-obvious 'one click purchase' patent).
  • Trade secrets
  • International design rights
Good primer is naturally here: (Although there is a little irony in asking about copyright as you simultaneously state "...we have copy/paste some Terms and Privacy from a similar site and modified them to fit to our site."!)

And, the obvious disclaimer: IANAL.

answered Nov 19 '09 at 18:44
363 points
  • thank you very much ! and all the other answer too !! – Fabrice 14 years ago


As I understand it (I'm not a lawyer or someone with a legal background either) your content is copyrighted in the UK whether or not you've put a © symbol on it or not, from the moment it is published (Possibly even prior to that). You don't have to register it or anything else. I vaguely remember reading about it on some site linked to by the site. You need to either look it up or find somebody who knows about this, probably sooner rather than later.

Edit: Here we go its on the IPO website here

answered Nov 19 '09 at 01:14
141 points


Your work is copyrighted mostly everywhere, not just the UK.

Here's a very good article: 10 Big Myths about copyright explained

answered Nov 19 '09 at 15:04
1,471 points


Copyright protection exists whether or not you register your website. As soon as you create an original work it is protected, meaning that others cannot copy it and profit from it. There are some benefits to registering, like added protection and the availability of different damages. Since registering is a fairly simple task, it may be worth your while.

You mention protecting "design" and "ideas." Copyrights don't apply to ideas. If you have a specific design you'd like to protect, you might consider filing a trademark.

answered Nov 19 '09 at 16:56
Josh Feola
71 points

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