Publishing Your Intellectual Property Online

Here are some frequently asked questions about publishing your own intellectual property online.

Is it really publishing?

Yes, posting something publicly on the Web is considered publishing. This may be an issue if you hope to later sell first publication rights to that content to someone else.

Should I post a copyright notice?

Although copyright law protects your content regardless of whether you post a copyright statement or restrictions about copying/re-use on your Web site, it is probably prudent to do so.

Many people are uninformed about copyright and may assume, in the absence of such a statement, that it’s OK to copy your content--especially since the Web makes it so very easy to do so.

What about online collaboration?

If you wish to use the Web to share your intellectual property with a select group of people for purposes of collaboration or critique without it being considered published, consider:

  • Exchanging files via email.
  • Setting up a password-protected web site that only your collaborators or critiquers can access, with clear instructions about using the material only for those purposes.