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What's the Difference between Copyright and Copywriting?

Updated on November 24, 2010
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Copyright and Copywrite: Definitions and Differences

A copywriter holds the copyright on her work. Confusing? This author was once confused, too, until he learned the difference between copywriting and copyright.

Copyright is the ownership a person has of a creative work he has produced. If you write a book, pen an article or take a photo, you automatically hold the copyright, and no one can reproduce it or use it without your permission. Although some countries have a copyright register, you don't have to register in order to own copyright--the work is yours as soon as it is created. If someone uses it or copies it without your permission, she has committed the crime of intellectual property theft.

Copywriting is only indirectly related to copyright. In publishing terms, copy is simply the industry term for words. It is particularly applied to written content created for promotional purposes, such as advertisements and brochures. A person who provides text for publications is a copywriter (not a copyrighter), and she is copywriting (not copyrighting). She owns the copyright (not copywrite) to the work, unless she makes an agreement to share copyright or hand it over to someone else, such as a publishing company or magazine editor.

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    • profile image

      Okwalloh Martins 

      6 months ago

      This is handy right this morning. Very well put.

    • LD Grice profile image

      LaVette Grice 

      3 years ago from Portland, Oregon

      Thank you for the clarification. I didn't know whether to sign my web pages at the bottom "copywrite" or copyright. Now I know. Sweet!

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