Everything You Need To Know About Copyright Notice

Everything You Need To Know About Copyright Notice

Your content is automatically protected under copyright law, but if you ever have to file a copyright infringement, you need to make sure that you have registered your copyright. Although you are not required to register the copyright, it does come with some benefits. A copyright notice shows the readers that the content is protected by copyright, recognized by the copyright owner, and the date of publication. These copyright statements are used widely and can be found anywhere, from movies and songs to websites and blogs.

What is Copyright?

Copyright is an intellectual property that gives its owners the right to exclusively make copies of their creations. The copyright law gives you the right to full ownership of your creation. The creative work can be in any form, literary, education, artistic, etc.

For example, You just created music, or a screenplay, or even a blog post, once you put this creation out in the world, accessible to everyone, the copyright law makes sure that no one steals your creation and for their use. Below is an example of a standard copyright notice WPeka:

Copyright notice of WPeka

What are the benefits of placing a copyright notice?

A copyright text informs the public that your creation is original and also keeps it from cases of infringement. Even if cases do occur, the copyright notice will help prove the case in court that the defaulter was served the notice of your protected creation.

Do I need a copyright notice?

The copyright notices are not required by law, but they do protect your content from any infringement case happening and standard proof of the ownership. There are some legal formalities that you can’t avoid. Copyrights are also believed to foster creativity and cultural diversity. With a copyright in place, the owner may decide how the property can be used. However, if someone does wish to use it, they can lawfully obtain the owner’s permission via a license. 

One major aspect of a copyright notice is the duration. It subsists of a variety of lengths in various countries. Usually, the default length of the copyright is equal to the life of the author.

Did you know?
If you plan to establish an online business presence in Germany, you must adhere to the GDPL Law. Find out more about GDPL in our dedicated article.

How to write a copyright notice?

In order for the copyright notice to be valid, it must include the three elements below:

  1. The copyright symbol
  2. Date of publication
  3. Name of the author 

Most websites include a statement of right, which isn’t technically necessary. Stating something like “All rights reserved” is nor required by law. 

The Copyright Symbol: The letter C in a circle is the universally accepted symbol of copyright ©. In the United States, it consists of © or the word “copyright” at the beginning of the copyright notices.

Date of publication: The first time that the work is published or made public should be listed. This also helps determine how long will the copyright protection last. For this, you can use a year or year and no usage of months and days.

Name of the author: The author is the person who holds the copyright to the material. It can be an individual, an organization’s name, or a business/corporate name.

Statement of rights: This is where you tell people what kind of rights you hold on to your copyright material. There are mainly three types:

  • No rights reserved: Often, the owner releases the work for the public to see by declaring the ownership but not restricting the access to the rest of the world.
  • Some rights reserved: Stock photos are one of the examples of this kind of right. Under this some rights reserved, the materials can be utilized by the public with full attribution and no alteration. 
  • All rights reserved: The creation is protected under the copyright law and can’t be re-used by any member of the public without the authorization of the owner.

Where to display the copyright notice?

The focus point of placing the copyright notice is that it must be accessible, meaning whoever sees your work must understand that it is protected by the copyright law. A website may choose to display the copyright at the footer and, in case of a book, at the starting of it. 

Below are some standard places for copyright notices: 

  1. Any artistic creations like movies, photography can have copyright notice towards the bottom of the work, or a watermark notice if desired.
  2. CD’s can have a copyright notice on their covers. 
  3. Screenplays must have one copyright notice on the front, 

Can I use a copyright-protected work without infringement?

Yes, If you are aware of who the copyright owner is, you can contact them directly. Alternatively, you can also request that the Copyright Office conduct a search of its records if you are not certain of the ownership. According to the fair use doctrine of the U.S. copyright statute, you can use limited portions of other’s work, including quotes, for purposes such as commentary, criticism, or news reporting. 

There are no legal limits as such on the use of the number of words or how much percentage of the work can be used.

How is a copyright different from a patent or a trademark?

While copyright protects the original work of the creator, a patent protects any inventions or discoveries made. Discoveries and ideas are not protected by copyright law. On the other hand, a trademark protects words, symbols, designs of the goods or services of a party that distinguishes them from others.

What is the difference between copyright and privacy?

The difference between copyright and privacy can be explained with an example. If a friend takes your picture of you from her phone, she would have the copyright of the image. But, if she decides to upload it on the web and you feel it violates your rights or safety, then you can file a privacy complaint.

Copyright notice examples

Copyright on a website will protect the textual, as well as the visual content on your website. It is usually placed on the footer of a website.

eBay copyright notice

Copyright notice of eBay

 © 2017 Acme, Inc.

While technically, U.S. law no longer requires the use of a copyright notice, there are benefits for doing so. The use of copyright puts everyone on notice that a work is protected by copyright. If your work is infringed, if the work carries a proper notice, it’s very hard for an infringer to claim that they didn’t know the work was protected copyright. An innocent infringement defense can result in a reduction in damages.

There are so many complicated parts of copyright law. It doesn’t matter whether you create computer code or technical writing: the terms of copyrights are all the same. With these simple facts, you will be able to know what are the major dimensions you need to be aware of while creating a copyright notice. Is there anything we missed? Let us know your thoughts in our comment box below!