What Is The Difference Between Copywrite And Copyright?

“So, what do you do for work?”

The dreaded question.

It’s nice to be able to share my passion with people when small talk arises and the unavoidable question of how I make a living comes up. The hard part is having to explain what exactly it is I do to the uninitiated. Granted, a small percentage of people do know exactly what being a ‘freelance copywriter’ means. That small percentage is almost exclusively made up of other freelance copywriters though. Everyone else will generally assume I work with ‘copyrights’ which is a completely different kettle of fish.

Allow me to explain…

What is copyright?

The term copyright is related to intellectual property law. Basically it’s a legal form of protection that helps musicians, artists, writers and other creators keep their original works safe from other people who might want to plagiarise (steal) them. Plagiarism sucks guys. Please, always try to give credit to the original creators of any content you share online. For some people, their content is their livelihood. It’s how they make a living. Plus, as mentioned above, you could be committing a copyright infringement if you share work and/or claim it as your own, without crediting the original source.

What is a copywriter?

Oh, look. It me. A copywriter is someone who writes copy (or content) for a living. The term ‘copy’ in this sense refers to pieces of text that have been written with the intent to sell. So, a copywriter is someone who writes ads or other marketing material for a living.

Are you still with me? Good. Let’s delve deeper.

Whilst ‘copy’ refers to ads, there is a whole other realm of work that copywriters can get into, as mentioned above: content.

There is a difference between ‘copy’ and ‘content’, though subtle. Copy is written to sell (Google ads, social media ads, etc.), content is written to entertain (blog posts, articles, social media posts, etc.). Though they are similar in some ways, they do require different skillsets when it comes to creating effective text for each of them. In saying that, if you put in the time and effort to upskill yourself, you can learn to excel at both and become a highly skilled, well-rounded copy+content writer.

How to tell the difference between copywriting and copyrighting

First of all, we need to break these two words up.



The difference is in the back end.

A copy ‘writer’ is someone who writes.

A copy ‘right’ protects the rights to original works.

Makes sense, right?

I think that’s pretty much all the basics that need to be covered in order to explain the difference between copywrite and copyright.

If you have any questions at all, feel free to pop them in the comments. I don’t mind taking the time to clear anything up for you if things are still not 100% clear.

I hope this helps and thanks for reading! 🙂

Header Image by Debby Hudson on Unsplash

iScribe Creative is run by Katelyn Broom, a Sydney-based freelance copywriter. Katelyn is super passionate about helping businesses across the globe tell their stories and sell their products through powerful writing.

See what her clients have to say!

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