The world’s copyright registration service
What happens if my website changes after registration?
The fact that your website may change and evolve after copyright registration should not be a concern as we provide a facility to register updates to your work.
The registration update facility enables you add new versions of your work to the registration, so that the new content is covered. The original registration date and content is retained and each update is stored as a separate item of evidence, effectively building up a record of the evolution of your work over time, (this is very powerful evidence to have in an infringement case).
You are free to choose how often you update a registration - it not necessary to do so every time the site changes. Generally, registration updates are recommended if there is new content you specifically want to protect. Most website owners/designers will only submit an update when there has been a major change, or something of particular value that they wish to include in the registration. (In most cases, many months will pass between registration updates).
Updates are charged at a reduced rate (£17.00 online or £24.00 per work for postal updates) – for full details, please see our fact sheet P-17 Updating Copyright Registrations
Can I be sure that my work is safe?
Yes. All work we receive and data we store is covered by strict confidentiality and security policies.
Can I include other people’s work in my website when I register?
Yes. Provided that:
- You have permission from the work owner (or the work has a licence that allows you to use it as you intend).
- It is clear which parts are not your own (i.e. the work should be attributed to the relevant owner).
These conditions should be met before you publish on the Internet in any case, but if the site is still at an early stage and you do not have permission yet the best option is to remove affected parts from the content you submit for registration.
Websites are a soft target. Internet content is frighteningly easy to copy and we get more reports about plagiarism of website content than any other material. It is important for site owners to have the evidence that registration provides, but a large proportion of the enquiries we receive are from people who are unclear how to register their site.
When to register
Due to the dynamic nature of websites deciding when to register may be unclear.
As a basic rule, the site should be as complete as possible, but should ideally be registered before the site is published online, or is seen by untrusted parties, to ensure that proof of content is available as early as possible.
What to register
It is important to ensure that the full content you want to protect is included when you make your registration. The way to approach this will depend on the type of site you have. Broadly speaking websites normally fall into one of four categories:
- Planned / proposed sites
With a site that is at the planning stage, you may have written content for the site, perhaps some artwork and design ideas, but little (if any) code. This preliminary work can be registered; in fact it is common to do so, and even recommended before you approach third parties to develop your ideas.
If this is the case, you simply need to get together all the content, images, etc. into a folder on your computer and proceed to ‘How to register’ below.
- Built online / content managed
Sites that are created online using a design tool and/or site templates; content managed sites, blogs and news-streams are examples of this.
- With back up
If the facility you use provides the ability to back up your content, or you have access to and are able to back up the datastore that contains your content, then submitting a backup is normally the best option when registering.
- Without backup
If you are not able to make a back up, then you will need to manually assemble the content for registration. The best way to do this is to create a folder on your computer and save to that folder the following:
- Microsoft Word / Open Office document(s) (or similar) containing all the written content you have added to the site (either copied directly from the web page, or your own originals if you have these).
- Any image files that you have created that are used on the site.
- Any other supporting materials or files that you have created that are available online via your website.
- With back up
- Traditional sites
Sites that are based on non-compiled resources that are hosted on a web server.
Such sites will consist of some or all of the following elements:
- HTML/XHTML pages
- CSS stylesheets
- PHP, PERL, (or other interpreted language) scripts and files
- Downloadable/viewable files (PDF, text files, Microsoft Word or Open Office documents, etc.)
When registering this type of site, you should submit a copy of the same files that you would upload to your web server.
If you are using Adobe Dreamweaver, Microsoft Front Page or similar editing software to publish your site, it is advisable to publish the website to a local folder on your system (this will normally ensure that all files are included with the registration), then proceed to ‘How to register’ below.
- Sites with compiled resources
Sites that use compiled resources – such as Java, .NET, etc.
With this type of site, the most important aspect is the source code - Under copyright law, computer programs are principally classified as literary work – that is to say it is principally in the actual written code (i.e. the source code) where copyright exists. So in most circumstance, you will want to include a copy of the source code files in your registration deposit.
If you are registering online, then you should create a zip archive containing all your source code (plus any non-compiled resources - static pages, scripts, images and other files) and upload this when you register. You can of course also upload a copy of the compiled (working) site if you wish to fully illustrate your work.
How to register
- Registering Online
During online registration you will be asked to upload the files that make up your work.
Websites typically have a lot of files across a multilayered directory structure so special care must be taken to ensure that the structure of your site is preserved during upload.
You should take the following steps:
- You should have a directory on your computer containing the full content of your site.
- Use an application such as WinZip, WinRar/Rar, 7-Zip, StuffIt, or Tar to create a single archive file (i.e. a ‘.zip’ or ‘.tar.gz’ file) of the directory (so you now have a single file containing all the content).
- Upload this archive file when you register online.
Following this procedure will ensure that the directory structure of the site is preserved.
We accept any type of compressed archive file, although we recommend that a non-proprietary format (i.e. .zip, .tar.gz) is used. As with all electronic files you should choose common formats to ensure that software to read the files will be available in the future.
- Registering by post
For postal registrations you simply need to send the copy of the entire site on a CD or DVD with your completed registration form.