A website or any work created entirely by you is automatically protected the second you finish it. When you copyright something its simply PROOF that shows you were the primary creator of the website, and serves as evidence in the courtroom. So your website is already protected, but if in the future someone steals your work and you sue, Then i would recommend filing for copyright protection at “copyright.gov” its 60 bucks.
@chrisburton@traq i’m not saying you can copyright the entire HTML language. Only the design and appearance that makes up your website. Here’s an explanation from the copyright office itself>
The original authorship appearing on a website may be protected by copyright. This includes writings, artwork, photographs, and other forms of authorship protected by copyright. Procedures for registering the contents of a website may be found in Circular 66, Copyright Registration for Online Works.
Original authorship is the keyword that might not hold up in court since most sites have designs based on another. From reading above, you’re implying that once you create a site, you can slap a copyright symbol on there and that protects you from someone else using your layout. So what I’m saying is, how can you prove you didn’t copy some of that code which doesn’t necessarily make it originally authored by you.
You might be thinking of Trade Dress which still may be hard to prove.
Like he said. The moment you create it its yours. I got a copyright too. I tried for few years to stay ontop of it. But finally gave up. 200 people a year is too much to deal with. The truth is unless protecting it is your part time job, everyone will take it if its good.