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Domain Names and Copyrights – What you Need to Know

Contrary to popular belief, copyright infringement is actually a relatively common practice that occurs everyday around the world. Online business owners put a lot of work into finding the right name and then building an enterprise around that name. Unfortunately a business name and short phrases cannot be copyrighted in most cases, so there is no way to protect your online business name from copyright infringement. Or is there?

Using Domain Names to Copyright Online Businesses

The answer to that question depends entirely upon the situation at hand. For example, if your business name is “Big Rock Music” then there is no way to copyright the terms “Big Rock” or “Rock Music” because they are both general terms. You can however copyright your online business name simply by opening a domain called “Big-rock-music.com” or similar. Now this alone will not keep people from using the terms Big Rock, or Rock Music, or even Big Rock Music legally. However it will keep people from starting an online business by that name, since you have legal rights to that domain name.

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Copyrighting a Domain Name

The beautiful thing about this method of copyrighting is that you do not need to do anything to copyright your domain name. Simply registering the domain name and placing content on it is enough to copyright the domain name and the content that is on the domain. When content is published onto a domain that is owned by you, unless there is already a copyright for that content, the content is automatically your property. You can then file a trademark request for slogans, logo and other content on your domain. Since the content is already published on your virtual property, it will be much easier to get your trademark request accepted.

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Protecting Your Domain Name from Copyright Infringement

Good domain names are not easy to come across, so once you have one in your possession you need to do everything you can to make sure you control the power of that domain. The domain name alone is enough to make an online business grow substantially, which is the main reason why your competitors would love to get a fraction of the traffic that is originating from the popularity of your domain name. This means you need to purchase domain names that are similar to yours to prevent your competitors from capitalizing on the success of your creativity.

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Conclusion

When you begin your online endeavors, issues like copyright infringement and others will seem as if they are not important. However as you begin to learn just how competitive the internet is, you will realize that protecting your assets is of the utmost importance. Putting all of your work efforts into content creation, and no work efforts towards the protection of that content is a quick way to have all of your efforts thwarted by an opportunist competitor. The first step in protecting your content is registering a domain name in your name that can be used to build a copyright claim if needed.

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