Copyright is a right given by the law to creators of literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works and producers of cinematograph films and sound recordings. Acquisition of copyright is automatic and it does not require any formality.

A Copyright notation consists of the word “copyright” or the international copyright symbol, which is letter c within a circle, together with the year of first publication and the copyright owner’s name. E.g. © 2008 Mary D. Thomas or Copyright 2008 Mary D. Thomas. The use of the notice is the responsibility of the copyright owner and does not require permission from, or registration with, the Copyright Office.

Copyright Notation

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A copyright notation is no longer as absolute necessity of the copyright act. Nevertheless, it is still a good idea to use a copyright notation as reminder that the work is protected by the law. Also, the copyright notation may act as a deterrent for would be infringers. The regulations require that the notation be put in a reasonably conspicuous place. The symbol © is not required in the leading copyright convention, the Berne convention.

In the event that a work is infringed, if a proper notice of copyright appears on the published copy or copies to which a defendant in a copyright infringement suit had access. Innocent infringement occurs when the infringer did not realize that the work was protected. Also, copyright owner will have a weightage in a law suit if the defendant is claiming innocent infringement. So, use of copyright notation is the responsibility of the copyright owner.

As discussed above, it is clear that the copyright notation is not an absolute necessity but the choice or a responsibility of the copyright holder to remind others that the work is protected by the law.