Should I copyright my WSO?

23 replies
I am sure many people ask this question time and time again. How do you protect your idea? What is the difference between a copyright, trademark, a patent or just a good idea?

Copyright protects original works of authorship including literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works, such as poetry, novels, movies, songs, computer software, and architecture. Copyright does not protect facts, ideas, systems, or methods of operation, although it may protect the way these things are expressed.

So if your WSO falls within one of the above areas then it might be worth your time to look into a copyright. Along with a copyright, if your logo or name is important to your product or marketing, then a trademark might be in order.

Hope this helps you guys.
#copyright #wso
  • Profile picture of the author Adie
    If you think your WSO worth it then do it.
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  • Profile picture of the author ronrule
    If it's worthy of a copyright, it shouldn't be a WSO.

    A copyright won't stop people from leaking it to blackhat forums, or altering it and presenting it as their own. You'll waste money on a copyright, then waste more money trying to chase down people in foreign countries who stole it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Istvan Horvath
    How do you protect your idea?
    You seem to belong to those that think "ideas" can be copyrighted. FYI: they can not!

    Copyright protects only an expressible form of an idea or information.

    In plain English: your idea to write a book about a chess player that goes mad... cannot be copyrighted. However, Vladimir Nabkov's novel The Defence (about the same) can be and is copyrighted because it is more than an idea - it is an expressible form of it: a written book.
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  • Profile picture of the author JosephC
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    • Profile picture of the author Istvan Horvath
      Originally Posted by joecason View Post

      If it is an idea that you feel could be the next big thing, then yes; although it should not be posted in the WSO forum if that is the case. If it is an ebook just watermark it if you are concerned about copyright.
      You, probably, missed my post above about "ideas".

      Also, watermark doesn't offer you "copyright protection". Watermarks may stop some idiots to distribute your work without permission, eventually. Maybe you should read a bit to get an understanding what copyright is.
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  • Profile picture of the author Istvan Horvath
    Just offering my thoughts
    Unfortunately, your thoughts - and anybody else's, for that matter - are irrelevant when it comes about issues defined in laws and international agreements.

    BTW, giving credits and copyright are two very different issues. I still think you should learn about it before commenting...
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  • Profile picture of the author ronrule
    Just subscribe to a DMCA Takedown service before you release your WSO ... nothing will stop 100% of the pirates, but a good service can get the links killed as quickly as they're discovered so it will be harder to find and share.
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  • Profile picture of the author Danny Cutts
    If you go down the trademark route make sure you have a nice healthy bank balance... I have just registered a very complicated and difficult one and it cost me a lot of money :-(

    I have had some of my products shared in the past and to be honest they people that steal it tend to not be the people who would buy it anyway so I just embrace it...

    Danny
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    • Profile picture of the author Eric Lovelace
      WSO's are always getting leaked and sent out to the massive forums where others can download them for free, so I wouldn't even waste the money nor time on doing that.

      If anything, the product that may get leaked will only further establish you as an expert in your chosen niche, and get you much exposure

      So yeah on the bad side your wso gets leaked, but think of that positive mentioned above.

      Eric
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      • Profile picture of the author savidge4
        The overall fact on copyright is that it is protected the moment it is created. In in fact you were to have issues with some type of copyright infringement you have a window of 5 years in which to register for your copyright in order to get the full legal effect of doing so.

        The reality of "copyrighting" a WSO is in fact kind of null and void. you would be sharing a system, or a method, or an idea of how to do things. This would NOT be covered under copyright law.

        Granted that the information and the form that you communicate it is covered, the overall idea of it is not. I am sure that just about anything shared through a WSO could easily be termed "common knowledge" with a great many examples found on the net using the exact same and or very similar methods.

        Anytime that I create a .PDF file, I look at it this way. I am going to sell as many as I can, and what happens after that I consider viral marketing. In the end it is the fact for myself that I am writing this kind of stuff to help others, and to boost my authoritative presence on the subject. I just so happen to try and sell a few on the way.

        Another thing that can be done to add some added protection is to use actual PDF authoring tools. Word and the most recent copy of acrobat get the basic job of creation done. Using a tool such as Acrobat Professional can assist in locking the file up a bit more. You could technically go to the extreme of requiring a signature on the file, and then be able to track it if you really wanted to. ( I do this with contract documents from time to time - it is a pain in the keester though )

        Hope that Helps!
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        Success is an ACT not an idea
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  • Profile picture of the author yakim1
    I copyrighted a software product that I will be selling later this year. It is a high ticket product that will be installed on the buyer's server. So the Buyer will have some access to the code.

    Plus I have beta testers using the software now so I can try to find any problems. It has been functioning without any problems so far in beta for over 2years now.

    The copyrighted process took over 6 months from the time I submitted my copyright application. It has to be submitted in a special form and one of the forms was a pdf file and submitted in a zip format.

    I believe my pdf had over 1400 pages.

    My software uses PayPal's Adaptive API, but I created a unique way of applying the API. It took PayPal almost a month to figure out whether or not it violated their terms of service.

    They decided that it complied completely.

    I invented a way to use parallel payments so they act like chain payments. This was important because with parallel payments the people who purchase my software will be able to get their Application IDs approved in just 24 hrs.

    Where chain payments can take several weeks to get approval. It took me 7 weeks to get approved for chain payments. This is a new idea that I put down in code and was able to get it copyrighted because it was now in a form that can be copyrighted.

    The cost was fairly pricy and I don't think a WSO would be something that would be worth the time, effort and money to make a Federal copyrighted a worth while use of time and assets.

    Best regards,
    Steve Yakim
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  • Profile picture of the author xlfutur1
    My brother is an attorney and informed me years ago that you can copyright your digital product by simply inserting the copyright symbol, the year, and your name (or company name) on the product.

    If you have a good product, plan on getting ripped off however. That's just the nature of the beast.

    One of my websites sells jazz ensemble music in PDF format. I have had buyers that buy my products, then turn around and sell them on THEIR websites for less. Sure, I can ban them using DL Guard (and I have), but I learned early on I got used to the idea that there will always be a certain amount of people who will NEVER pay for a product, but just look for a freebie from a friend or black hat site. The good news is that a better percentage of people are honest and will pay for the product.
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    • Profile picture of the author savidge4
      Originally Posted by xlfutur1 View Post

      My brother is an attorney and informed me years ago that you can copyright your digital product by simply inserting the copyright symbol, the year, and your name (or company name) on the product.

      If you have a good product, plan on getting ripped off however. That's just the nature of the beast.

      One of my websites sells jazz ensemble music in PDF format. I have had buyers that buy my products, then turn around and sell them on THEIR websites for less. Sure, I can ban them using DL Guard (and I have), but I learned early on I got used to the idea that there will always be a certain amount of people who will NEVER pay for a product, but just look for a freebie from a friend or black hat site. The good news is that a better percentage of people are honest and will pay for the product.
      Your brother apparently is NOT a copyright attorney because NONE of that is true... And sending it to yourself in the mail is a bunch of crud too!
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      • Profile picture of the author Istvan Horvath
        Originally Posted by savidge4 View Post

        Your brother apparently is NOT a copyright attorney because NONE of that is true... And sending it to yourself in the mail is a bunch of crud too!
        Sending it to yourself in the mail... is a dumb urban legend.

        However, in most countries, when creating/writing something it is COPYRIGHTED automatically from the moment you created it - even without putting the (C) or your name or anything like that. Or registering anything...

        The copyright is a concept saying since it is your brainchild --> it is your intellectual property. Not to be confused with patenting (e.g. an invention or a method of making something).
        [I think the process of 2 years described above was about a patent rather than copyright...]

        In countries that adhere to the Bern Convention you don't need to register "copyright" or to apply for "copyright" - it is assumed that the author has it. (Most countries signed the Bern Convention.)
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  • Profile picture of the author Istvan Horvath
    Writing a copy and copyright - are 2 different things.
    Copyright is not about writing... it is about the author's RIGHTS to his intellectual property!

    In a simpler way: there is no such word as "copywrite".
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    • Profile picture of the author yakim1
      Originally Posted by Istvan Horvath View Post

      Writing a copy and copyright - are 2 different things.
      Copyright is not about writing... it is about the author's RIGHTS to his intellectual property!

      In a simpler way: there is no such word as "copywrite".
      Sorry Istvan, It was late for me and I was not functioning on all cylinders. I have corrected my misspellings.

      Best regards,
      Steve Yakim
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      • Profile picture of the author Istvan Horvath
        Originally Posted by yakim1 View Post

        It was late for me and I was not functioning on all cylinders. I have corrected my misspellings.
        Regardless, I still think you went through a patenting process and not registering a copyright!
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        • Profile picture of the author yakim1
          Originally Posted by Istvan Horvath View Post

          Regardless, I still think you went through a patenting process and not registering a copyright!
          My copyright was filled through the Federal copyright office. My Certificate of Registration says...

          "This Certificate issued under the seal of the Copyright Office in accordance with title 17, United States Code, attests that registration has been made for the work identified below. The information on this certificate has been made a part of the Copyright Office records. My Registration Number is...

          TXu 1-865-138

          I don't know if I can patent this because it uses PayPal's API.

          People would almost have to copy my code in order to use the same process that I'm doing with PayPal's API so I hope that will provide good enough protection to prevent other people from duplicating my process.

          My process allows me to do more things with PayPal with much less coding. My code does not have to do the rebilling of subscription payments like the usual Adaptive API code requires. PayPal does the rebilling with my code.

          Also, with my code the user can use PayPal's shopping cart so if physical products are being sold, the user of my software can collect sales tax and shipping fees plus sell quantities and multiple products like a store front would do.

          Other people who use PayPal's Adaptive API can't do the things that I can now do.

          That is why you don't see self hosted software that uses parallel payments because parallel payments always show to the customer all the people who receive money through the splits.

          My software uses parallel payments but only the user of my script is shown to the customer as it functions similar to chain payments.

          So it appears to the customer just like chain payments do. The only thing I can't do is to designate a primary receiver because the primary receiver is always the user of my software.

          With Chain Payments to get an Application ID you have to jump through all kinds of hoops and it take a long time to get approved.

          With parallel payments the way I use them, buyers of my software can get their Application IDs approved in 24 hours most of the time. Plus I have made the application process a copy/paste system and is extremely easy to do.

          Best regards,
          Steve Yakim
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  • Profile picture of the author brettb
    I think copyright is largely a waste of time for WSO's. Things change so quickly your WSO is likely to be obsolete in a year, especially if its just a PDF or video.

    Focus on building up a devoted following of loyal subscribers.
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  • Profile picture of the author BrianMcLeod
    Why, oh why must internet marketers continually insist on opining about IP issues when the facts are readily available and absolutely free:

    Copyrights:
    U.S. Copyright Office

    Patents & Trademarks:
    United States Patent and Trademark Office
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  • Profile picture of the author julianaS
    Some great insight here.
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    • Profile picture of the author Daniel Evans
      If the idea good enough to be so concerned about protection, why would you restrict yourself to releasing it as a WSO rather than releasing to the wider marketplace?
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  • Profile picture of the author gluckspilz
    To be honest, don't even bother about this copyright stuff. Information is going to be share regardless, it's a fact within this industry.

    Instead, focus on water marketing or have your own website printed all over the place so even when it is shared on black hat forums and all that. You will get free traffic!
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  • Profile picture of the author gasman
    You can, but it's hard to stop the Internet. Even if you do it will be difficult to stop people from stealing it or finding the ones who are.
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