It’s the infamous copywriting question that always comes up.
When people ask me what I do for a living, so many assume that I work in the legal business when I tell them I’m a “copywriter”. Now, I just follow it up with “copywriting as in sales writing, not copyright as in giving legal license to intellectual property.”
So if you’re one of those people who didn’t know the difference until now, fret not because you are not even close to alone!
In fact, it doesn’t even make sense to say “copyrighter” because it’s not a word! Ok, rant aside…
Copywriting vs Copyright: What’s the Difference?
Copywriting and copyright are two totally different things.
The definition of copywriting is the profession of writing sales copy done by a person called a copywriter. Of course, people who are not exclusively copywriters can write copy, too—in fact, I encourage it! 😃
Copyright is the legal right to make copies of intellectual property, like art or music, for a limited period of time. It’s granted by the U.S. Copyright Office, usually via the site https://www.copyright.gov/. Something that’s been copyrighted will have this © symbol next to it.
Examples of Copywriting vs Copyright
Examples of copywriting include text and design on advertisements, product descriptions, headlines, email subject lines, sales pages, mailer brochures, some articles and much much more.
Copyright laws protect writing, songs or musical works, movies, architecture and computer software to name a few things.
Copyright laws do not protect facts, ideas, domain names, names, slogans, or titles.
There you have it, folks.
When someone says they work as a copywriter, you can be confident they mean they write sales copy for a living. If someone says they work for the U.S. Copyright Office, they are likely in the business of granting copyright protection.
Do you have any funny stories about mixing up the meaning of copywriting? Let me hear ’em in the comments!