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April 24, 2023 | Copyright

A Blogger’s Guide to Copyright

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Jari Wilson

Associate Attorney

Creating blog content requires a lot of effort and creativity.  It’s important to protect your work from unauthorized republishing.  While the U.S. Copyright Act offers some federal protection, copyright registration is necessary in order to enforce your rights in court.  Without copyright registration, you cannot ask the courts to stop an infringer or obtain damages from a copyright infringement lawsuit.  If you want to prevent infringement of your content, these tips may help safeguard your legal rights.

What is A Copyright?

Copyright is an intellectual property right that grants the creator of a work exclusive ownership over their work, including the rights to reproduce, distribute, perform, and create derivative works.  A copyright owner can also transfer any of these rights or give permission to others to use the work.

Should You Register Your Copyright?

While copyright protection is automatic once your blog content is published, copyright registration is not, and neither is the ability to enforce your rights.  Registering your copyright with the U.S. Copyright Office offers several benefits; importantly, it enables you to file a claim of copyright infringement in court.

How Can You Register Your Blog?

You can register your blog’s copyright in its entirety, but this registration only covers the content present at the time of registration.  To ensure that all your published work, present and future, is fully protected, you will need to continue to register new content on a rolling basis.

There are three options for registering your ongoing work:

  1. Post-By-Post: Register each post immediately following a click on the “publish” button through a simple online process. This method is efficient and effective, especially if your work is prone to being infringed.
  1. In a Group (monthly or yearly): If you don’t believe your work is likely to be infringed, it may be more efficient to register your individual posts periodically as a collective group. Effective August 2020, the U.S. Copyright Office added an option for registration of short, online literary works (ex. blog posts, social media posts, short articles, etc.) known as Group Registration for Short Online Literary Works (GRTX).  Owners can register up to 50 such works in one application for a single filing fee.  However, works must meet certain criteria to qualify.
  1. Two Folder System: Categorize blog posts as “Important” and “Other” and save them in folders. Register content in the “Important” folder immediately and register the “Other” content post-by-post at a later time or in groups on a monthly or yearly basis.

Can You Protect Your Work Without Registration?

While you can put off registration, it is recommended to register all of your work to ensure you can enforce your rights.  If you choose not to register, there are still ways to protect your work and deter infringers.  These include adding a reposting policy statement on each page or creating a separate page with a reposting policy statement, adding watermarks to visual content, signing up for a Creative Commons License, and issuing a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown notice if you meet the DMCA requirements.


In conclusion, protecting your content by registering your copyright is crucial.  If you believe someone has stolen your content, contact a lawyer to guide you on the steps to take to enforce your rights.

Photo by Kaitlyn Baker on Unsplash
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