How to Protect Your Content by Inserting Copyright Notices in WordPress

We all want to keep our original ideas – just that – original. While there is little we can do to prevent copyright infringement, here are some ideas for reminding visitors of your copyright policy.

To remind visitors that you have a clear copyright policy, you may place your copyright notice where they will see it. The three I will be discussing here are:

  • Copyright notice in your footer
  • Copyright notice or policy in the sidebar
  • A WordPress Plugin for self-hosted WordPress sites.

The format of a copyright notice is one that is wrapped in a link to the specific copyright license, the terms and conditions under which someone may link to or use your content, and your definition of Copyright Fair Use. Not all copyright policies meet the needs of every site. The copyright example in this informational tutorial is very general. You need to define your policies specifically to your needs.

Example of Creative Commons Copyright License.First, choose your copyright policy. There are copyright template policies and licenses you may use from Creative Commons or other resources.

When you consider your copyright policy, the Creative Commons license is just the tip of the ice berg. For example, if you have a photo blog, you will need to create a copyright notice that is geared more to the use of your photos, rather than just text, as they will likely be more specific and possibly more strict. if you have a multiple contributor site, you will need a copyright policy that covers all your contributors, protecting their rights as well as the one for the site overall.

What if you really want to control specifically who can and cannot use your content under Copyright Fair Use, such as companies or sites that promote a topic you are morally or ethically opposed such as smoking, drugs, oil, conspiracy theories, politics, etc., you can do so in your copyright policy.

While researching, I found on the following example of a properly written copyright notice and policy on WordPress.com Support about content theft:

<a title="Link to Copyright Policy." 
href="http://example.com/copyright/">
© [Full Name], [Blog Name], [Current Year or Year Range]</a>. 
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material 
without express and written permission from this blog’s 
author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and
 links may be used, provided that full and clear credit 
is given to [Your Name] and [Your Blog Name] with 
appropriate and specific direction to the 
original content.

While it is best to use a link to your Copyright Page alone, and not a summary of the copyright policy, I’ve included the above text as a summary of the copyright policy as an example below, a best practices method for those determined to make a summary of their copyright policy clear to all visitors.

Where to Place Your Copyright Notice in WordPress

You don’t need your entire copyright policy placed everywhere on your site. Begin by creating a WordPress Page with your Policy, then link to that Page in your copyright notice.

A link to your Copyright Policy would look like this:

<a title="Link to Copyright Policy for Sally Sparrow of Nightingale media." 
href="http://nightingale.com/copyright/">
© Sally Sparrow of Nightingale Media 1920-2013</a>

Whether you use an abbreviated version of your Copyright Policy or a Copyright Notification, where do you put it?

Inserting Copyright Notice Into Your Sidebar

In order to get the copyright notice into your WordPress sidebar, use a text widget from Appearance > Widgets.

Enter your Copyright information in the Text Widget as you wish, as a Copyright Notice linking to your Copyright Policy or spelled out more specifically. Click save.

Example of copyright notice in WordPress Text Widget.

Go to the front pageview of your site and you should see something like this in your sidebar, featuring your Copyright Notice.

Example of Text Widget displaying copyright notice in sidebar on Theme.

Don’t limit the copyright notification in your sidebar. Look for other widgetized areas such as the footer. Place the notification there as well or as an alternative placement.

Example of Copyright Notice in WordPress Widget.

The footer is the most common area to place a copyright notice.

Example of Copyright Notice in WordPress Theme Widget Footer.

Inserting a Copyright into a Post

To post a copyright warning in a post, simply copy and paste your notice when writing or editing your post in the TEXT Edit. if you are using the Visual Editor, you have to manually create the link to your Copyright Page. Most people paste it in at the bottom of the post.

Example of a copyright notice in a WordPress post.

Previewed as a draft or published, the copyright notice should look similar to this:

Example of copyright notice on published post in WordPress.

Inserting the Copyright into Your Author Bio

Another alternative to pasting the Copyright Notice at the bottom of your posts is to include it in your Author Bio at Users > My Profile > About You.

In your About You profile, you may add HTML tags including links.

If your WordPress Theme supports author descriptions, the copyright notice would be included and visible on every post and Page the author publishes.

Copyright via a WordPress Plugin

If you are using the self-hosted version of WordPress, you may use a WordPress Plugin to automatically insert a Copyright notice in your posts, feeds, or WordPress Theme.

Go to the Plugins tab in the menu and search for a new Plugin for Copyright such as the Copyright Proof WordPress Plugin I’m using in these examples.

Copyright Proof WordPress Plugin feature page.

Configuration of Copyright Proof WordPress Plugin.

Once installed, click where it says Configure Copyright Proof and Register then fill in appropriate information and click update.

Digiprove - Copyright Proof Website Settings.

The Copyright Proof WordPress Plugin offers a variety of customization options.

I hope this how-to guide helps protect your valuable content. If you have questions about content theft, Plagiarism Today is a very valuable resource, and I recommend “What Do You Do When Someone Steals Your Content” also for help if your content has been stolen.

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One thought on “How to Protect Your Content by Inserting Copyright Notices in WordPress”

  1. Hi, I want to place a copyright notice in my blog
    I have typed the copyright notice in text widget and saved it. but can not see any option of place e.g sidebar/ footer.
    I am using ‘riu’ theme for my blog.
    Please help me to place the notice

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