How Do Real Estate WordPress Themes Get Copyrighted? (4 FREE Ways)

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[ctoc title=”Table of contents” type=”ol” items=”International copyright law,WordPress guidelines regarding copyright for themes,Why do websites need copyright?,How do real estate WordPress themes get copyrighted?,FAQ,Conclusion”]

If you are building a WordPress site, you should know your rights under copyright law in order to avoid any issues later.

So, how do real estate WordPress themes get copyrighted? 

All WordPress themes are in fact copyrighted and licensed under GPL or General Public Licence.

Hence, the rules are the same for all WordPress sites.

Let us find out more about it.

International copyright law

First, you have to know that there is no such thing as international copyright law.

Copyright law varies from one country to another.

So, whether you are a theme developer or using a free or paid theme from somebody else, you need to follow the local law.

WordPress guidelines regarding copyright for themes

Now, we will look at the WordPress.org terms of service, specifically to licensing of the themes, to understand how WordPress themes are licensed.

There are four types of licenses or attributions for WordPress themes

1. Attribution for the theme

The theme should carry a copyright notice in the source files specifying the year of release of the theme and a statement regarding the distribution of the theme under the GPL license.

2. Attribution for the derivative theme

If the theme is derived from another theme, then the original copyright notice of that theme should also be declared.

3. Attribution for the code

If the theme has used the codes of another theme, it should be declared too in the source code and also in the license or readme file of the theme.

4. Attribution for the bundled resources

Bundled resources in a theme may be fonts, scripts, images, etc. of a third party. If a theme has used such resources, the original copyright notice of those resources along with the source link should be declared in the license file too.

Why do websites need copyright?

Websites need to protect their work from getting stolen as they are the intellectual property of the owner of the website.

But, you as a website owner cannot copyright the codes of the WordPress theme as they are the intellectual property of the theme developer.

If the theme developer has used codes and bundled resources from others, these are also the intellectual properties of those third parties.

So, what can be copyrighted by a website?

The website can protect –

  • Their own original code.
  • Their own original written content.
  • Their own original images, illustrations, videos, audio, and animations.

Please note that you cannot copyright the comments left on your website by someone else, because they are not your own content.

You also cannot copyright your brand name or logo as they are trademarks for which the laws are different.

How do real estate WordPress themes get copyrighted?

There are no separate rules for real estate websites.

The rules are the same for all websites.

So, let’s see how to protect your blog content from copying.

1. Copyright notice

The copyright notice for a blog is the symbol “©”, which is appended to the footer of the website.

The symbol along with the year and the name of the website is usually written through the theme customization settings.

2. Terms & Conditions page

You may also describe the terms of the copyright on a separate page of your website, which is usually the Terms & Conditions page.

You can write the Terms & Conditions page yourself or use a plugin.

There are some sites too where you can generate these pages.

3. WordPress DMCA badge

Do not think that if you just have the copyright notice on your website, it will be sufficient to protect your content.

Someone may copy and publish it on their own site even if there is a notice.

As such, you can register your site at DMCA and put their badge on the footer too.

If you catch a site that has stolen your content, you can file a DMCA takedown notice.

4. Other methods

Thieves are thieves for a reason.

They do not care about copyright notices and DMCA badges.

So, are there any other methods that you can use to protect your content from getting stolen?

Yes, there are.

  • Create a watermark on the images on your website.
  • Disable hotlink on the images using plugins.
  • Disable right-click on the website using plugins.

FAQ

Are WordPress themes copyrighted?

Yes. WordPress themes are copyrighted under a GPL license.

How do you add copyright to a WordPress theme?

You can add copyright to a WordPress theme through the theme settings.

Can themes be copyrighted?

Yes. Themes can be copyrighted. But, you can protect only your own original work like codes, images, text, etc.

Can you remove the WordPress theme copyright?

Yes. You can remove the WordPress theme copyright from the footer as it is licensed under GPL.

How do I remove the copyright from a WordPress template?

You can remove the copyright from a WordPress template by adding the code the following code to the Additional CSS section of the WordPress theme customizer:
.site-info{display: none;

How do I copyright my WordPress website?

You can copyright your WordPress website by putting a copyright notice on the footer, putting a DMCA badge on the footer, adding a Terms & Conditions page, adding watermarks on the images, and disabling hotlink and right click.

How do I change the copyright year automatically in WordPress?

You can change the copyright year automatically in WordPress by adding this code to the footer.php file – 
<p>&copy; 2020 – <?php echo date(‘Y’); ?> YourSite.com</p>

Conclusion

So, let’s summarize what we have learned today:

  • There is nothing like international copyright law.
  • Copyright law varies from one country to another.
  • WordPress themes are licensed under GPL or General Public Licence.
  • There are four types of copyrights or licenses for WordPress themes which are attribution for the theme, attribution for the derivative theme, attribution for the code, and attribution for the bundled resources.
  • The content of a website is the intellectual property of the owner.
  • A website owner can copyright the original code, the original written content, and the original images, videos, audio, illustrations, etc. on the website.
  • A website cannot copyright the comments left by others on the site.
  • Logos and brand names cannot be copyrighted as they are trademarks.
  • To copyright, you can display the copyright notice using the copyright symbol on the footer, the DMCA badge, and the Terms & Conditions page. Additionally, you can watermark the images, disable hotlink and disable right-click on the site.

I hope you now know everything about copyrighting websites.

Thank you for reading.

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