Sometimes, similar words and terms can be confusing.

This is especially the case when some of the words are related to the same general concept while others are not. One good example of this is often come across when looking for copywriting services: You may see the terms “copyright” “copywriting” “copy writing” and “copy right” and this many sound-alike terms can lead to a lot of confusion.

Here’s a look at what the four words and terms mean so you can see exactly what they have in common as well as how they differ:


“Copyright” refers to the legal protection that is afforded to the creators of text, images and videos. The exact length of time that copyright covers depends on the country of origin for the claim as well as when the copyright was established.

Contrary to popular belief, copyright doesn’t have to be registered to be in effect; registration helps to prove copyright claims if they are contested or infringed, but copyright begins at the moment of creation.


“Copywriting” is the act of creating copy or other content, usually with a call to action or sales focus in the copy.

Copywriters create content with a purpose, and it is often written in such a way as to maximize search engine rankings, entice specific ad content to display on pages or influence readers in specified ways. Some may call copywriting the creation of “content with a purpose” since it is more focused than copy that is written simply to entertain or convey information.

Copy Writing

Similar to copywriting, “copy writing” is the creation of copy or other content.

Unlike copywriting, however, it does not have a deeper purpose or a targeted call to action. Copy writing creates standard copy for use in web pages or other media that is intended to educate, entertain or otherwise interact with the reader but isn’t specifically focused on search rankings, ad displays or enticing sales.

Copy Right

“Copy right” sounds like copyright, but doesn’t refer to legal protections afforded on documents or content.

Instead, is references the right that an individual or organization has to copy and/or distribute copyright-protected works. A copy right typically has to be granted by the rights holder, though some legal exceptions may allow for copying and distribution of copyrighted works under specific situations (such as being for educational use, copying in part as part of a review or copying and modification as part of a parody or protest).

Similarities and Differences

It’s obvious that there are some similarities here, but as you can see there are also some big differences between these similar-sounding words. You can chalk this up to just another quirk of language, with words and ideas evolving into new concepts all the time. Who knows… you may see even more evolution of some of these words in the future.