Copyright notice form and importance are discussed in this post. It is not mandatory to have a copyright notice in Canada as copyright is automatic upon creation. However, it is advantageous to place a copyright notice to give notice to others that you own the copyright. In the United States, there are requirements for marking and registration. Read about the US requirements for a copyright notice in their Circular 3 – Copyright Notice from the US Copyright Office. You can read more about what is copyright.
It is not necessary to place a copyright notice on a work. However, it is advisable to do so as it provides protection in other countries where it is a requirement to have a copyright notice. The copyright notice is used universally to let the world know that copyright is owned by that individual. The Universal Copyright Convention addresses copyright notices whereas the Berne Convention Treaty does not.
If copyright has not been registered in a published work and no name of the author is printed or appears on the work and the name of the publisher which appears on the work, the publisher whose name appears on the work will, unless the contrary is proved, be presumed to be the owner of the copyright. S.34.1.
The copyright notice consists of the © [the copyright owner which is usually the publisher, author, artist or illustrator] [year of first publication]. You can also add: “All Rights Reserved” at the end of the copyright notice. Sample below:
- © (or Copyright or Copr.) 2018 Vandana Taxali. All Rights Reserved.
Add the following to your Copyright Notice:
1) the “c in a circle”—©—or “Copr.” or “Copyright”
2) the name of the copyright owner (not necessarily the author)
3) year of first publication (or the year in which substantial revisions were made).
- If a work is constantly being updated or revised, then the latest substantial revisions can be used. Earlier years can also be part of the notice.
- If you are only including one year in the notice use the oldest year.
- You can also use a range of years (eg. 2015-2018)
Advantages of a Copyright Notice
Placing a copyright notice with the © symbol is important. A copyright symbol gives notice to the world that copyright exists in a work. Therefore, it can be used as evidence in a legal action as proof that notice of the copyright ownership was given.
The copyright symbol also helps those who seek permission to use a work to get that permission from the copyright owner.
Another advantage of using the copyright symbol is that the US Copyright Act prevents anyone from claiming that they did not know that copyright existed in a work as justification for infringing it if a copyright symbol was placed in association with the work.