How to Use © Copyright symbol
This article will mostly focus on book authors perspective on this matter, but it can also help you answer your question even if you have other copyrighted work like software, website, documents, manuscripts, photographs or designs.
What does © symbol mean?
The symbol © basically means that you reserve the rights to work on which it is displayed. Most countries in the world recognize this symbol as a manner of displaying copyright.
Do I have to use © symbol?
Short answer – No. The symbol has only informative character and its function is only to inform the third party that you reserve the right to your work and that you are aware of your rights to it.
For longer answer I would say that you should put © symbol together with copyright notice anywhere it is appropriate to inform others about your rights.
What is copyright notice?
Copyright notice is a short text mostly including © symbol which go along with your work. Its goal is to identify the copyright owner, inform the reader that the work is subject to copyright a deter others from infringing your rights.
What should copyright notice include?
In most countries there are no legal requirements on what must copyright notice include. Thus we can provide you a few tips you should consider when drafting your copyright notice. You can find good examples of copyright notices right under these tips.
- Use word “copyright” together with © symbol.
- Use the date from which do you reserve your copyright to your work. If the work is something which is constantly being updated, like videogames, website or other software, you should use the time frame starting from the year of first publication up to the most current update.
- Use the copyright owner name. Whether the owner is person, business or other subject it should be clear to anyone who reserves pertinent copyright.
Note that there is no “perfect” copyright notice. The aim of it is that you clearly inform the reader of notice about your intentions and rights to your work.
Copyright notice examples
For single book author:
Copyright © 2020 John Ann
For two or more authors:
Copyright © 2020 John Ann, Marvin Dews
For website content:
Copyright © 2015 – 2020 John Ann photographs.
Sometimes you need to put more information into your copyright notice. Whether you want to grant some permissions to public or you want to clarify more restrictions. We will show you how can you do this.
Copyright notice extension
If you want to reserve all the rights to your work, your copyright notice may look as follows:
Copyright © 2020 John Ann. All rights reserved.
If you want to name the exact actions regarding your work which are sctrictly restricted, your copyright notice may look as follows:
Copyright © 2020 John Ann. All rights reserved. Any anauthorised publication, copying or reproduction without the authors consent is prohibited.
If you want to allow others to freely use, publish, reproduce and copy your work while maintaining your right to be identified as author, your copyright notice may look as follows:
Copyright © 2020 John Ann. This work can be used, published, reproduced and copied freely. This notice must remain intanct when this work is used by any means.
If you want to allow others to use your work for some specific purposes for free while maintaining your right to be identified as author, your copyright notice may look as follows:
Copyright © 2020 John Ann. This work can be used freely for educational purposes. This notice must remain intanct when this work is used.
We do also advice everyone to consult IP expert if you need help and want to be sure everything is all right. Every author or other work creator whether it is website designer, software engineer or other person willing to protect their rights to their work correctly has different needs and aims with his work. Thus every copyright situation has to be handled individually.