When I started playing music about 15 years ago, I had a band with some friends and we recorded some of our songs (demos) and I remember someone told me to put everything we had on a tape or CD and mail it to ourselves. This way we’d have the date stamp on the package and should anyone rip one of our songs we’d have the proof that we came up with the ideas first.
It sounded like a simple and easy way to protect our material. Of course this was never meant to replace copyrights, but we were 13-14 and that seemed like a good enough solution, especially since we had absolutely no budget :)
Needless to say that something like this would not work today, and would certainly never work for web designs and online content! Especially because of the amount of content available online, the tons of different ways you can license your work, the fact that your rights will vary from country to country, and other issues like bandwidth theft, splogs and scrappers.
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