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Some background:

  • Based on Django
  • User submitted content
  • I'm in the USA (NYC to be exact)

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You automatically have the copyright to any work you create. There isn't an official register of copyright. You can apply for trademarks and patents if you have anything that qualifies.

Based on that answer I'd say it is unnecessary for your own content. As for the user submitted content it gets sticky. What if someone has posted copyrighted content of their own or from another source? You cannot claim copyright on it yourself as it has already been copyrighted by someone else. If you want to copyright the original content of user submitted content you will need to make sure your terms of service state that any original content posted by your users is copyright by you and make sure they have to agree to those terms before submitting content so they cannot claim ignorance if you do use their content for your own purposes.

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That's not entirely true. You automatically gain copyright when a work is published, but (in the US) you have to register it with the US Copyright Office to be eligible for statutory damages for infringement, rather than just the actual loss you can show you've suffered. –  Mike Scott Jan 28 '11 at 16:56
    
In the case of Twitter etc, places that use user submitted content, they own the content. –  mickburkejnr Jan 28 '11 at 17:02
    
@Mike: That's good info. Thanks for sharing it. –  John Conde Jan 28 '11 at 17:06
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