To Copywrite or Copyright? That’s The Question!

In English, there are many different words that sound the same. These words can lead to confusion and misunderstanding. The words that are different but are pronounced the same are called homophones in English. This brings us to the two homophones in question today.

While these words sound the same, their meanings are a world apart. In this article, we are going to look at definitions of both of these words. After reading this, you can say what is copyright or copywrite!

What Is Copyright?

closeup of a label which shows the CC sign.
Photo by Umberto on Unsplash

When a writer fixes their original work in a concrete form of expression, copyright, a type of intellectual property, protects the authorship of that work. Regarding copyright law, there are many kinds of works, including drawings, photographs, illustrations, musical compositions, sound recordings, computer programs, books, poems, blog posts, movies, architectural creations, plays, and much more.

When a human author independently creates work and exhibits minimal creativity, the work is considered original. To create something alone simply means to do so without using a copy.

According to the Supreme Court, a work must have a “spark” and “modicum” of creativity to be considered creative. However, some things lack creativity, such as titles, names, one-word phrases, and slogans; well-known symbols or designs; slight variations in typographic ornamentation, lettering, or color; and simple ingredient or content lists.

Remember that only expression is protected by copyright; concepts, principles, systems, processes, procedures, methods, or discoveries are not.

A work is considered fixed when it is recorded (either by the author or with their permission) in a sufficiently durable medium to allow for long-term perception, reproduction, or communication. For instance, when you write something down or record it, it is fixed.

What is Copywriting?

One of the most crucial components of advertising and marketing is this. People are inspired or motivated to take a specific action by writing persuasive copy.

The words on that page, which you see when you open a magazine and see a full-page ad for perfume, are the work of a copywriter. A website page that asks you to make a purchase is the result of copywriting. Copies are available in print, online, and even when read aloud on radio and television.

Who’s in charge of writing copies? Every piece of copy has a copywriter behind it. Copywriters are people who have received training to connect with a target audience and persuade them to take action. Businesses either employ copywriters internally or on a contract basis to grow and communicate with their audience. 

A copywriter crafts sentences that inspire readers to take action. Although there are many different kinds of copywriting, they all start with researching a particular audience and learning about their wants and needs. The copywriter then decides how to engage the audience, show them that their problems are recognized, and present a solution. 

An individual who writes copy is known as a copywriter. They can write for websites, blogs, articles, ads, social media posts, and more. Copywriters use writing to educate, enthrall, impact, and persuade audiences.

The objectives can range from increasing brand recognition to establishing a company or organization as an authority to generate sales. 

Copyright or Copywrite? What’s The Difference?

Copyright provides the owner of the intellectual property legal protection from theft and unlawful distribution. Copyrighted material cannot be distributed by people who don’t have the right to that.

In order to reproduce the digital material, you have to obtain the right from the owner. The owner has the exclusive right to do whatever they want with the digital property.

Copyright does not last for eternity. Each country has different laws for the time it lasts. In the US, it is 70 years after the person who owns the rights passes away. Take a good look at your country’s laws on copyright for the most accurate information.

The other term, on the other hand, is a portmanteau. It is the amalgamation of the word write and copy. Copy, in the world of marketing and sales, means text that is written to persuade clients to buy a product.

So how can we understand which is which in daily conversation? Let’s look at this example case below:

  • You can’t share that. It is copyrighted material!

In this context, we can tell that it is copyright, not the other option. Because you legally can not share copyrighted things, it is against the rules. Police can come to your door and arrest you. 


You have to think about the context to decide on the word being used in these sentences. Because they are pronounced exactly the same, however, they have completely different.

Did you like our article on this common misunderstanding? If so, don’t forget to share it with your friends and colleagues!

Abir is a data analyst and researcher. Among her interests are artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing. As a humanitarian and educator, she actively supports women in tech and promotes diversity.

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