So, you’ve finished with your website or with your written work. You’ve put in a lot of effort and hard work into the process. Now, the next step to take is to protect what you’ve made using a copyright notice example. A copyright statement or a copyright disclaimer is a way of telling people that they can’t reuse or copy your work without your permission.

Copyright Notice Examples

What is a copyright notice example?

A copyright notice example is also known as a copyright statement for website, a copyright statement example, a website copyright footer, an all rights reserved text, and so on. No matter what name you use for it, make sure to include this in your work to provide information about you as the creator.

Basically, a copyright statement is a brief statement you affix to your published work. The purpose of this is to notify anyone who views your work that it’s copyrighted. Make sure to display your copyright disclaimer conspicuously and use the proper formatting to ensure that it serves its purpose.

Any published works in the US created before the 1st of March, 1989 must have a copyright statement example to qualify for protection under the law. After the US joined the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, Congress made an amendment to drop this requirement on works published on the 1st of March, 1989 or later.

Any standard copyright statement for website or for published work starts with a copyright symbol which is an encircled letter “c,” the term “copyright” or the abbreviation which is “copr.” After this, there comes the name of the owner and the year when he first published the work.

Using a copyright notice or some kind of all rights reserved text allows users to know the owner so that they can request permission for the use of the work. In some cases, the copyright holder may have already sold his copyright after he affixed his notice to his work.

Although using a copyright notice example isn’t a legal requirement anymore in the US to qualify for copyright protection, it offers a significant advantage. Having something like a website copyright footer helps discourage infringement since it shows how serious you are about enforcing your rights as the copyright owner.

In a lawsuit involving copyright infringement, the fact that you had affixed such notice to your work prevents the infringing party from claiming “innocent infringement.” This is commonly used by defendants to reduce the amount of damages as in means that they didn’t intentionally infringe your work.

Apart from the Berne Convention, the US is also a member of the Universal Copyright Convention. This permits authors who have created their work in the US to have copyright protection under the laws of any of the countries which is a member of either of these conventions.

The good news is that most countries all over the world are part of at least one of these conventions. However, the Universal Copyright Convention only provides international protection to published works with an affixed copyright notice. Therefore, even if you published your work in the US, if it doesn’t come with a copyright notice example, this won’t protect you.

Copyright Statements

When to use a copyright notice example?

Under the most updated copyright law, using a copyright statement remains optional. But if you received a copyright for your work before the 1st of January, 1978, you must include a copyright disclaimer or notice. That way, you won’t have to worry about people using your work without permission, then claiming “innocent infringement.”

A copyright statement for website or for published works must include the symbol © or the term “Copyright.” The statement must also include the year when your work received the copyright along with your name as the copyright owner. If you plan to publish your work outside of the US, it’s better to use the copyright symbol © which is more recognized.

The Copyright Office states that any copyright statement example must be very easy to see and should not get obscured by anything. This means that you should put the statement, word or symbol in a place that’s easy to find.

You can place this virtually anywhere but most people place them at the bottom of books, at the bottom of the very first page of printed works, or as a website copyright footer.

Aside from this copyright notice, it’s also possible to share with others how you want to share your published work. If you have the willingness to allow others to use your work for non-commercial purposes, you can include a statement saying this.

Also, include a statement which says that if the person wants to use your work for commercial purposes, he must request permission first. Either way, make these statements short but easy to understand.

Copyright Statements For Website

The importance of a copyright notice example

Although placing a copyright notice example isn’t required by law, they are very beneficial, especially for those who want to keep their work legally protected. Anything which you create, publish, and share but would still want to protect from copying in part or in full must have this notice.

Here are some reasons why a copyright notice, though not required, is still important:

  • To let people know that the work belongs to you and it’s subject to copyright.
  • In cases where you need to sue someone for copying or using your work without permission, the statement will help your case.
  • Showing this notice in court not only supports your case, but it also makes it easier for you to provide evidence against the defendant. Use it to prove that the infringer was already put on notice that you have copyrighted your work.
    However, it’s important to note that because of the copyright law’s complex nature, it’s not guaranteed that a copyright notice example will make a significant difference, especially when you consider all of the potential factors involved.
  • It helps deter plagiarism and infringement.
  • You can also use it as a declaration of the rights you would like to maintain.

Copyright Statement Examples

Writing your copyright notice example

A copyright statement or notice is a type of statement which you place on your work to protect it by copyright. You can see this on videos, books, artworks, music albums, and the like, all of which have eligibility for copyright protection. Generally, copyright notices all look the same because there’s a proper format to follow.

Copyright protection immediately comes into play as soon as you create your work. You don’t even need registration to ensure validity. For instance, after finishing a painting, you already possess copyright protection for it. Still, there are benefits to registering your work with the Copyright Office.

When creating your notice, make sure that it contains the main components which are:

  • The Copyright Symbol
    As aforementioned, there is a universally-accepted symbol for copyright which is an encircled letter “c” or ©. In the US, you may also use the term “copyright.” Either way, this is the first part of your notice.
  • The Copyright Date
    For the date, you must only use the year or years. Generally, you don’t have to use the days or months for the notice. The year to use should be the year when you published your work. This means that you would include the year when you released your work to the public.
    If you’ve created a website which only your family or friends will use, you may not need to include a notice. But if you’re creating a website that everyone on the internet can access, the copyright date should be when you made the website accessible.
    If your medium contains a combination of new and old content, you may use a range as the date instead of just one year. The bottom line is that the date depends on the nature of your work or the material you’ve published.
  • The Copyright Owner’s Name
    This can be the name of a single author, the names of several individuals, the name of an organization or even a corporate or business name. The important thing is that it identifies the owner of the copyrighted material. This allows people to know the person or entity owning the material, the one they must contact to request permission.
  • The Copyright Statement of Rights
    Finally, this is where you can inform the public about the rights you want to maintain with your copyright. Here are the main types of statement of rights used on copyright notices:
    All Rights Reserved: This is when you keep all of the rights to your published material. This is the most commonly used statement you may find on copyrighted materials.
    Some Rights Reserved: You can usually see this in Creative Commons Licensing. Here, you allow other people to use your materials under specific circumstances like when you’re given full attribution or when the person isn’t allowed to alter your original material.
    No Rights Reserved: This is when you would want to declare that you own something, but you don’t want to make it restrictive for the public.
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TemplateLab October 18th, 2019