The Nuts & Bolts of Website Copyright
A client called this weekend with another copyright issue. Last year I had filed the copyright registration for his first business website, but being a Type-A personality he preferred to do things himself. He wanted to complete the copyright registration for his second business website. No problem, I walked him through the registration form process, discussed the deposit requirement, and sent him on his way. An hour later he called back and said the registration form was completed, but the deposit requirements were too challenging for him to figure out in an afternoon, and could I jump it to complete and file the copyright registration for his latest website.
Like other copyright registrations, a website registration requires you to submit a deposit (which is a sample or example of your art) to the Copyright Office. Creating a website deposit is not technically difficult, but the process can be time-consuming and a little confusing for first-timers. You have a couple of options in how to prepare a website deposit:
1. Submit a printout of every webpage of your website
2. Burn a copy of your entire website to CD, and also submit printouts of five example webpages of the website
Easier said than done. Just hitting "Print" from your web browser produces a printout that looks very little like the web page you see on the screen. In order to preserve the formatting of the webpage on a hardcopy, the easiest method I know is to make a screen capture of the webpage, and then print the resulting image file. For lengthy webpages I used to fire up Photoshop to stitch multiple screen captures into a single long image file, but there are now add-ons to Firefox and Chrome web browsers that allow you to capture the whole page in one image. Make sure each page has the copyright notice (example: Copyright © 2013 ArmillaryIP) displayed, usually in the webpage footer.
For the website CD deposit, it's easiest to use website copier software to save the whole website to a folder. There are many website copiers out there, but I've had outstanding results with the free WinHTTrack software. Once you have a local copy of the website saved to your computer, burn it to CD. Label the CD jewel case with the Title (example: XYZ website), author, and copyright notice.