Copyright and
Tax Information

How should you view copyright and tax issues? It is important to understand the responsibilities and repercussions of each.

Page Ownership

What is the best way to deal with this issue? Just how do you go about protecting yourself for those who might want to use your content without your permission. After all of your hard work and effort to develop a successful website, it can be discouraging when your content is stolen. You should know that each page that you publish to the internet is automatically copyrighted and is owned by you. However, you can and should state the date of the ownership at the bottom of each page in a footer.

Even if you take these steps and are successful with your website, people may try to steal your content. It is best to try to work through your web host to identify the other party. Most web host have a procedure for handling such matters and work hard to keep their participants from reproducing content of others.

To protect yourself further, you can take the steps of burning a CD of your website every 3 - 6 months. Store the CD with your attorney or notary for safekeeping. It could come in handy to prove when you produced your page content. A second step that could be taken is to copyright your site every 6 - 8 months. It is inexpensive and easy to do. It is best to also use the copyright symbol "©", without the quotations, adjacent to your website or company name.

Next step is to build more content. No matter if you find others copying your material, your quality content will drive visitors to your site.

If you find material that you would like to use in your website, then be sure to contact the owner of that site and get their permission to use their picture, music or other items. You should find that most will be glad to cooperate.

Paying Taxes

Do you have to pay taxes on the income you earn from your website? YES, you do. Your income could be paid to you as an individual or in your company name. You should contact your CPA or tax attorney for specific guidance on how to handle tax reporting in your case.

Be aware that the payments made to you through Google Adsense and other programs will be the gross amount and they will NOT have federal and/or state income taxes deducted. You are responsible for reporting the total amount of income you have earned to the IRS and paying taxes.

Think of it this way. Paying more taxes means you are earning more income. That is a good thing and it will happen. Enjoy your website.

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