CopyRIGHT vs. CopyWRITE. Do you know the difference?

Copyright vs. CopywriteYou may think the answer to the question is obvious, but over the years I’ve received numerous calls from people looking for direction on copyrights vs. someone who writes copy. Therefore, I thought it was worth clarifying.

According to Barron’s Dictionary of Advertising and Direct Mail Terms, here is the definition for:

COPYRIGHT – “form of protection granted by United States law to authors, artists, and musicians for their original work (including advertisements and commercials). A copyright protects the work from being copied, reprinted, sold or used by someone else without the consent of the owner of the work. The Copyright Act of 1976, which became effective in January 1978, provides this protection for the period of the owner’s lifetime plus an additional 50 years.”

COPYWRITER – “creator of words and concepts for advertisements and commercials. Copywriters are usually employed by advertisers, advertising agencies, production companies, and other places where advertising is created.”

Why do they call the words “copy” anyway?

Again, a simple explanation comes from the definition of “copy” in Barron’s Dictionary of Advertising and Direct Mail Terms. Copy is defined as “all written or textual material in an advertisement or direct-mail piece, including headlines, subheadings and body copy. The term is used in this context to refer to all such material before it is set in type, as well as after it appears in print. The term originates from the days when this material was received by the printer in handwritten form and would have to be copied into type for printing.”

When you’re looking for a information about copyrights, a good place to start is the U.S. Copyright Office. You can find their web site at

When you’re looking for a creative talent to write your copy, a good place to start is with a copywriting professional. You’ll find many resources online, but why not head in The Write Direction?