Copyright/site content?


I’m just wondering with regards to site content, what can be copyrighted? For example… there are a million dating sites out there, so I’m guessing you can’t copyright the initial idea of a dating site. What CAN be copyrighted?

MySpace came along, but was then overshadowed by facebook, and Twitter. I’m in a quandry as to what exactly can be copyrighted? Any advice would be appreciated.

Best Regards,


You can’t copyright any of the items that you are talking about, you would need to patent them.

There is a reason patent lawyers make a lot of money, because it’s a difficult and confusing issue.

The content of your site is automatically copyright to whoever it is wrote it - provided that it is an original work and has not just been copied word for word or picture by picture from somewhere else.

The structural parts - HTML and CSS and simpler JavaScript where there’s only a small number of ways to write the code cannot be copyrighted.

Thank you for your replies, and Felgall, I didn’t know that - much appreciated!

It’s a tricky one. Who’s to say you have a good idea, though little funding, and somebody with more money for marketing comes along and copies your idea?

An idea isn’t copyrighted until it is expressed in a tangible form. As mentioned, website ideas cannot be copyrighted at all. Only the website content. If you have an idea for a product or service, then you will need to patent it.

If you have an idea and can document the ‘design’ of that idea, then generally you can patent it. You don’t have to have produced it. This is where patent differs significantly from copyright. As Shyflower says, the idea can’t be copyrighted until it’s in a tangible form.
The documentation that you submit with your patent application would be copyrighted to you as the originator though.

Thanks CMDweb, I’m beginning to understand the copyright process a little more :slight_smile:

If someone is very rich and powerful they can steal whatever they want and get away with it. Thats because they can hire a bunch of lawyers to twist everything around so that the innocent become guilty and vice versa.