Most of us don’t have the time or the enthusiasm to write our own copy or blog articles, so we engage a copywriter or marketing agency to do all of this for us. A question arises however, about who actually owns the copyright, if someone else has written it, even though it is on your website.
Well, in Australia we have what is termed “implied copyright”, which means that you don’t have to include “Copyright” notices or © on any works of any type. Despite this legal omission, it is important to understand that unless specified otherwise in a contract or agreement, the owner of the website owns all content on the website as well.
It is only an unscrupulous web developer or copywriter who would attempt to retain ownership of the content after it has been paid for by the website owner. This is a key point for you to remember, that once you have paid for the work, as the website owner you should own the content. Make sure you check your contract or agreement before signing anything!
Can you copy and paste from the Internet?
Just about 99.9% of all content on the Internet is copyrighted. That includes text, videos, music, photographs, graphics and images — everything, really! As such, you cannot simply download (or copy and paste) anything and add it to your website as if it were your own.
It is fair to say that if someone is happy for you to copy their content and include a link back to the original work on their website, they will make it known on their website, but if not, you can always ask them. If you are unsure of the copyright issues for content that you want to utilise on your website, then you can find out more information on the Australian Copyright Council Website.
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