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Difference between copyrighted or copywritten

copyrighted or copywritten

In this article, we will explore the differences between copyrighted and copywritten. These terms are often confused due to their phonetic similarities but differ significantly in meaning and application.

Grammar Facts about Copyrighted and Copywritten

Copyrighted is an adjective derived from the noun copyright, which refers to the exclusive legal right given to an originator or an assignee to print, publish, perform, film, or record literary, artistic, or musical material. On the other hand, copywritten is a mistaken form of the past participle of copywrite, which is not a standard term in English. The correct term for writing copy, especially for advertisements or publicity releases, is copywriting, and the correct past participle form is copywritten. However, the more commonly accepted term related to the profession is copywriter for the person doing the writing.

Quick Facts Table

TermCopyrightedCopywritten (Incorrect Usage)
NatureLegal rightNon-standard form of a verb
FieldIntellectual Property LawAdvertising/Public Relations
Verb FormCopyright (to apply copyright)Copywrite (non-standard)
Related toLiterary, artistic, musical workCopy for advertisements, PR

Difference Between Copyrighted OR Copywritten

Definition of Copyrighted

Copyrighted refers to the state of having copyright protection. Copyright laws grant the creator of original work exclusive rights to its use and distribution, usually for a limited time, with the intent of enabling the creator to receive compensation for their intellectual effort.

Definition of Copywritten

Copywritten is often mistakenly used to describe work that has been written by a copywriter. The correct term is copywriting, which is the act of writing text for the purpose of advertising or other forms of marketing.

Origin of Copyrighted

Copyright laws date back to the 15th century, with the British Statute of Anne in 1710 often cited as the first true copyright law. This law was enacted to encourage the creation of new works by giving authors and creators exclusive rights for a limited period.

Origin of Copywritten

The concept of copywriting emerged in the late 19th to early 20th century with the rise of mass advertising. Copywriting has evolved with the advertising industry, adapting to new media and technologies.


  • Copyrighted: /ˈkɒp.i.raɪ.tɪd/
  • Copywritten: /ˈkɒp.iˌraɪ.tən/ (though commonly misused, it would theoretically follow the pronunciation patterns of similar constructions).

Comparing Copyrighted and Copywritten

AspectCopyrightedCopywritten (Correct: Copywriting)
FocusProtecting intellectual propertyCreating promotional material
Legal ProtectionYes, provides legal rightsNo, refers to a writing process
ApplicationBooks, music, art, etc.Advertisements, slogans, web content
ProfessionalCopyright holder or creatorCopywriter
ObjectiveTo prevent unauthorized use or distributionTo persuade or inform an audience

Usage in Sentences with Explanations

Use of Copyrighted in Sentences

  1. The photographer has copyrighted all her pictures to prevent unauthorized use.
    • Explanation: Indicates the legal protection of the photographs.
  2. To use this song in your video, you must obtain permission from the copyrighted holder.
    • Explanation: Refers to the need for legal authorization due to copyright.
  3. The novel is copyrighted, ensuring that only the author can decide on its publication rights.
    • Explanation: Highlights the exclusive rights given to the author.
  4. Copyrighted material cannot be copied without the consent of the copyright owner.
    • Explanation: Emphasizes the legal restrictions on use.
  5. She discovered that her copyrighted work was being sold illegally online.
    • Explanation: Shows the violation of copyright laws.

Use of Copywritten in Sentences

(Note: Correct term is copywriting; sentences adjusted accordingly.)

  1. The ad campaign’s success was attributed to the brilliantly copywritten text.
    • Explanation: Refers to the effective writing that contributed to the campaign.
  2. He specialized in copywriting for technology firms, making complex products accessible to the public.
    • Explanation: Describes the niche expertise of the writer.
  3. Copywriting for social media requires a good understanding of viral trends.
    • Explanation: Highlights the skills needed for a specific type of copywriting.
  4. The copywriting on their website effectively communicated the brand’s values.
    • Explanation: Indicates the purposeful and effective use of written content.
  5. A course on copywriting can improve your skills in creating compelling advertisements.
    • Explanation: Suggests education as a means to enhance copywriting ability.


Understanding the difference between copyrighted and copywritten is crucial for professionals navigating the fields of intellectual property law and marketing. While copyrighted pertains to the legal protection of creative works, copywriting (the correct term for the act of writing copy) involves creating persuasive marketing materials. Recognizing the distinct roles these terms play can help avoid confusion and ensure accurate communication in professional contexts.

Commonly Asked Questions

  • What does it mean when something is copyrighted?
    • It means the creator has exclusive legal rights to their work, including reproduction, distribution, and adaptation rights.
  • Can anyone become a copywriter?
    • Yes, with the right skills in writing and marketing, anyone can pursue a career in copywriting.
  • How long does copyright protection last?
    • Copyright terms vary by country but typically last the lifetime of the creator plus an additional 50 to 70 years after their death.
  • Is copyright protection automatic?
    • In many countries, copyright protection is automatic upon the creation of the work and does not require registration.
  • What is the main goal of copywriting?
    • The main goal is to persuade or inform an audience, often for marketing or advertising purposes.
Jessica Smith

Jessica Smith

Jessica Smith, writer at, blends creativity with insight, exploring technology, culture, and psychology. With a background in English Literature, she crafts engaging stories inspired by nature and urban life. Outside writing, she enjoys exploring and continuous learning.View Author posts

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