How and where to place the copyright symbol and copyright notice on your work
When placed in or on your work, the copyright symbol—©—denotes that you hold
the copyright to that work. You don't need to wait until you've filed your copyright
application to place the copyright symbol on your work.
The Copyright Notice
The copyright notice should always be placed on your work in an obvious spot. The
copyright notice, which includes the copyright symbol, should look like this:
Copyright © [COPYRIGHT OWNER’S NAME]. All Rights Reserved.
As shown in the above example, the word “copyright” and the copyright symbol should
constitute the first part of your copyright notice.
Following the copyright symbol is the date. You should insert the year in which
your work was created (if you are copyrighting a collection of short stories, use
the year that the last piece in the collection was created).
In place of [COPYRIGHT OWNER’S NAME] in the sample copyright notice above, you should
insert the name or names of the copyright holder(s). This can be an individual,
several individuals, a business entity, or the name of your band or organization.
Typing the Copyright Symbol
To type the copyright symbol in most word processors, simply place a lowercase c
in between parenthesis (c). Most word processor programs, such as Microsoft Word
or Apple’s Pages, will automatically turn this into the appropriate copyright symbol,
In Windows, you can also hold down the “Alt” key while typing in 0-1-6-9. This will
also create the copyright symbol in your text.
Do I Even Need to Place The Copyright Notice on My Work?
If your work was created after March 1, 1989, the copyright notice isn’t required,
but placing the copyright notice prominently on your work is a smart move. The presence
of the copyright notice warns anyone who sees it that you are claiming ownership
in the material. This may deter potential infringers.
By placing the copyright notice on your work, you eliminate the “innocent infringer”
defense commonly attempted by those committing copyright infringement. With the
copyright notice on the work, the “innocent infringer” can’t argue that he or she
had no idea that the work was copyrighted. This alone is a great reason to have
the copyright notice on your work.
COPYRIGHT YOUR WORK NOW!