How to protect my website content..?

Hello guys, I have made a Social Networking website(similar to facebook but didn’t posted yet) where users will login and interact with each and will post their content(anything including images,documents).So how do i protect each and every users content posted on my website like if someone will copy their data(post) and used it somewhere else then how i can help user from getting infringed ??

And most important if user has posted his logo design in my website and he hadn’t applied for trademark already instead if some other person will copy his logo and apply for trademark in copyright office by paying the fees in his own name.?? Is this possible…???Is this possible for the user to get the trademark for the logo after posting its logo on my website.???

Please help me. Thanks in advance…!!

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You can’t.
If I can see it on the web, I can take it.

As for trademark vs copyright, everything I create and publish in any way, such as this post you are reading, is automatically copyrighted to me. No fees required, no application to be copyrighted, no need for any little copyright sign. It is mine. Only problem is finding out if someone else has copied it…

I’ve never had anything to do with trademarks, but I strongly suspect that taking an image to which you do not own the copyright and making it a trademark will fail as soon as the original creator objects and can prove they were the creator (such as pointing at a post on your website with its date stamp…)

I suspect the little copyright sign is used simply to say “we have paid for this to become our property, so hands off, even though we didn’t create it”

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Thanks for the great answer and fast reply.

Can u please resolve my two more doubts which are just stopping my work from continuing:

1. What if i took copyright of my website content(like written docs, images , audios etc). Will this mean that any content posted by user within my website is owned by me because i have taken the copyright or the copyright is still with the user who has posted. Then how two possible copyright coexits on same content on the name of two different persons(the user or the owner of website). ??

2. If a user posted a content on my website (for eg: dated:12march2013) and that content is copyrightable but he didn’t applied for a copyright but after few years user came to know that his content is used by a company named XYZ.COM and the company also took his content and applied for the copyright on their own company name on 18april2014.??Will the company get the copyright??if yes then . Will the user be able to claim his content based on the above time stamp on which he has posted.?? Will the user be able to tell the copyright office that the copyrighed content taken by XYZ.COM is actually created by me on 12march2013 but the company had applied for copyright on 18april2014 so decline the copyright of XYZ.COM on my content and remove my content from your website???Will the copyright department will remove or take action against company copyright???

These doubts are freaking me out but still i have to clear them…
Any help will be appreciated.Thanks again.

well, it might be worth trying on this site


Read my post!
The instant you put content on your website it automatically becomes your copyright IF you wrote it, or the copyright of the real writer. It’s the writer first and only you if you buy it.

The instant a designer puts a logo they have created on your website, it becomes their copyright, not yours, unless you buy it from them.They don’t have to apply for copyright. And no-one else can apply for it as their copyright.

Copyright declarations that you see are there to say “This is mine, and if you wish to use it, this is my name and address, so apply to me to use it. Or buy it off me completely.” You see this on many photo sharing websites - notes saying all rights reserved, or purchase a user licence, or free to use if you acknowledge me, or free to use, no acknowledgement required. But the image is always copyright of the creator unless they sell the rights on. Selling use of an image to someone will often state that the photographer retains the rights, so they can sell it’suse many times.

You do not apply to anywhere to make this happen, although registering it with a copyright office makes suing easier as it establishes date of ownership very clearly
If someone took some published content and used it, the real creator just says here is my original publication, read it and weep, speak to my lawyer and pay me.

You really don’t know how copyright works, do you.

This post is now copyright of me when I click reply, like this.


Yes i donno much about copyright and their uses before but now feeling good after your valuable information.

Lemme ask you two superficial question. What if the posted content by the user is deleted by the website owner for sake of its own benefit to remove the evidence that the user has posted that so the site owner can register his content on his own name to copyright office without any problem because the post is now deleted and there is no proof of existence.then what can a user do in this case or he is helpless…???

And what is the use of paying for my website content to copyright office if the content inside the website(users content) isn’t mine…??Then what comes under copyrighted content of my website if not users content because all of the site contain only users data not mine’s because it’s a social network?

I thought that if i will copyright my website content then i can help users whose content is infringed by others so that users get their content back and site owner will tell infringer that i have got the copyright of the website content and u should stop using it or i will take action…??? is the above statement make sense???

i know the question is foolish but still mean a lot to me.

Thanks for your help and patiently replying to my stupid questions.

Have you written Terms of Use or Terms and Conditions for your website yet? It might be helpful to look at the Terms for sites similar to yours to get an idea of how they handle it. Here’s how we do it at SitePoint.

At some point if your project takes off you’ll want to talk to a lawyer about this, because it’s very dependent on where you live.


Thanks a lot for your suggestion.It means a lot to me that itself Sitepoint team memeber replied… :slight_smile:

If suppose the question i asked in this site is copyright of mine and if someone used the same content(question) of mine and posted it on stackoverflow and i didn’t want that…should i have to tell that infringer to take my content down or it’s the responsibility of the sitepoints team to help us in case of any infringement…? Should i contact u first or tell the infringer directly…?

Anyways i prefer this website for Q&A over stackoverflow and i will recommend it to my friends too.

From time to time, we get posts here which are plagiarised - copied from elsewhere on the Internet. That’s against the rules of the forum, and as a moderator here, I try to spot such posts and remove them. I’m not aware of anybody approaching us to say that content posted here has been copied from their site, but if that ever occurred, I’m sure we would act upon it.

So my view is that our responsibility extends to what is published here, as that’s the only content we have control over. If somebody copies a post from here and posts it elsewhere, it’s for the site where it appears to take action; that’s the site you need to approach if you have a problem.

(Where other sites have copied content from here on a large scale, then it’s been a case for the legal department to sort out, but individual posts, no.)


Unless your terms of use specifically state that all content posted on the site becomes copyright of you, all the content remains the copyright of the object’s creator. So you “trying to protect them” is pointless, as you are trying to say their logo design is your logo design! There is no point in you paying for copyright of every post, every logo etc that appears on your site. It would be an endless and expensive job, especially if it isn’t actually your copyright! If you delete the post or article, that’s your choice, the creator still has the copyright, your website is simply additional evidence of when it was first published.

Suppose I answered a question here about what a drop-shadow on text looked like, or what a two-tone logo looked like, and created a quick logo to demonstrate this, or took an existing design I’d made for a client, and posted it on a forum, it’s still my copyright or the client’s copyright. If SitePoint then deleted my post - let’s say I lost my temper and used rude insulting language when someone said that’s a bad design - the design is still my copyright. It is up to ME to protect my designs, not you.

Now in the case of writing an article for a magazine, or online site, say for SitePoint, the magazine or website will not own the copyright unless they buy the article and also state that I am transferring my rights to them. And this is what often happens. Not always though, and I have re-written articles and had the re-write published elsewhere a second time (book reviews, software reviews, product reviews, etc). I have even seen identical articles appear in different magazines where the author didn’t bother to re-write it, but as it was their copyright, there was no need to re-write it, and clearly they had retained their rights when it was first published. But if the first magazine had bought the rights as well, they couldn’t do this, a total re-write would be required.

So if I sold an article and retained my rights, it is MY task to take the plagiarist to court, not the task of say Sitepoint. But if I sold an article AND my rights to Sitepoint, they can choose to take a plagiarist to court. And they would collect any damages, not me. And they don’t need to submit each article to a copyright office to establish the copyright is theirs, as it would be in the terms of me getting paid by them.

In the case of a company running a website or magazine, they have copyright signs to show the articles now below to the company and not, say the website editor, or the fashion editor or the managing director or someone else. so the company can sell the article etc without asking someone else’s permission.

The advice on righting your site’s terms of use is very important, but all your worries are irrelevant and unnecessary, unless you are intending to sell on the items appearing and want to take the copyright away from the creator.

Early on when I first tried freelance writing to earn money, I had my first article plagerised (but not word for word) and didn’t know I could complain and take them to court. Several years later I knew more and when two of my articles appeared under a different name, I complained immediately and got paid. It was an unethical editor who took over a magazine whose editor had moved to a new job, and he dug up a few old articles, stuck some random names on the articles, and produced a new edition of the magazine quickly. Probably pocketed the article fees too, and on my complaint paid me with his own cheque book. When he was finally sacked, the magazine paid dozens of authors money owed, without even demanding proof in my case, they took my word over the phone, said just tell us how much you want, and paid what I wanted, as they were very annoyed with the editor as well, and admitted I was not the only person complaining.


Thanks a lot for the sorted answer…!!!

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@Dr_John you are awesome.
Thanks for the complete clearance of my doubt. :slight_smile:


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