Copyright versus Copywrite

I made a common mistake in word use yesterday. No excuse, I even know better. But I did it in haste. I used the term copywritten when what I meant was that it had been copyrighted. My college linguistics professor niece was quick to point out the error of my ways. She’s good at that – usually she’s even nice about it and doesn’t laugh at me! Copy writing is the act of writing. The term copy writing is most commonly used when writing copy for an ad or copy for our web site (the kind of writing I talk about in my DVD, How to Write Web Site Copy to Increase Your Business.) Copyrighting something means you have rights as the author to what you wrote. You copy write your material then you copyright it to claim rights as the author.

When we are presenting ourselves as a professional, using correct grammar, spelling, and acceptable use of words, is important. It’s also important to not copy someone else’s copywriting.

Because few of us have the time to become experts in copyrighting laws, it is best to operate from the idea that if someone else wrote it they have a copyright to it.

So, you don’t copy their copy written material because it probably is copyrighted; you need to ask their permission. Gee, I realize that’s a lot of “copy” words in thisdid you follow that?? ;-) Most authors are very nice about sharing their material when asked, but they generally do want to be given credit. That’s fair. I like fair. Aw, now I have another blog post idea: What’s fair? But, I’d like to hear about your stories about a word or phrase being used when another word or phrase is really what is intended?

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Ann Adams

2 Responses to “Copyright versus Copywrite”

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  1. Andrew Everhale says:

    Try this for the definitive work on sound-a-like phonetics Ann!

  2. Ann says:

    A funny skit, Andrew. While unrelated to the copyright vs copywrite dilemma it certainly shows how important it is to clarify the meaning of the words we use if you wish to be understood. So, a reminder, double check your writing to be sure the words used are clear to the reader. Helps too, to read it out loud.