How Do I Correctly Format a Copyright?

By Robin Elizabeth Margolis

A correctly formatted copyright notice on your literary, musical, dramatic or other artistic work shows the public that your work is protected, identifies you as the owner of the work, and ensures that if anyone attempts to publish your work without your permission, that person cannot claim that his infringement of your copyright was innocent.

Step 1

Start your copyright notice with the lower-case letter "c" with a parenthesis on either side of the "c," forming this symbol: "(c)." You may also use the symbol of a "c" with a circle around it or the word "Copyright."

Step 2

Insert a space after the "(c)" symbol and put in the current year in numerals, as in "2011." If this is a new edition of a work you published in an earlier year, you should also insert the earlier year, followed by a comma and a space, and then put in the current year, as in "2000, 2011."

Protect against infringement by registering a copyright. Get Started Now

Step 3

Insert a space after the current year and type in your legal name. Your final copyright notice should appear in this format: "(c) 2011 Jane Doe." If you have a co-author, that person's name will appear attached to yours by the word "and," as in "Jane Doe and Richard Jones."

Step 4

You may also add the phrase "All rights reserved" to your copyright notice. Although this phrase is no longer legally required, it continues to appear in almost all copyright notices. Your notice will then read: "All rights reserved (c) 2011 Jane Doe."

Step 5

Protect an unpublished work by placing the following copyright notice on it: "Unpublished work (c) 2011 Jane Doe."

Step 6

Place the copyright notice of a book on the back of the title page. Other acceptable locations include the front of the title page, the first or last page of the main body of the book, and either side of the front or back cover. Acceptable locations vary for other products such as software programs, motion pictures and websites.

Protect against infringement by registering a copyright. Get Started Now
How to Word a Copyright Notice for a Screenplay

References

Resources

Related articles

How to Copyright Your Entire Blog

Although your blog is protected by copyright the moment you publish it to the Web, you should consider registering your blog with the United States Copyright Office. Doing so will give you additional protection, including the right to sue and collect damages if someone infringes your content. You can copyright your entire blog as it exists on the date of registration, but subsequent updates will require additional filings. In addition to registering your copyright, placing a copyright notice on your blog will let visitors know that you are serious about protecting your rights.

How to Publish Poetry for Free and Get It Copyrighted

Poetry writing is a fun way to exercise one's creative writing skills. Poetry may be published free of charge on a person's website. Other sites offer publication of poetry books for a fee. Poetry is a type of literary work that is protected by copyright laws.

How to Publish and Copyright a Poem

If you are a poet, you establish copyright protection for your poem as soon as you write it down. This protection gives you the exclusive right to publish, distribute and copy your poetry. For extra protection, including the right to sue and collect damages from someone who infringes your copyright, you can formally register your copyright with the United States Copyright Office. This can be done before or after you publish your poem.

Related articles

How to Make a Copyright Page

The copyright page is where the publisher places all the legal notices and information related to a book. If you are ...

How Do I Apply for Copyrights in Nevada?

Federal copyright law applies to all 50 states, and the process of registering a copyright is the same for Nevada ...

Examples of How to Correctly Use the Copyright Symbol

The familiar copyright symbol -- a "c" in a circle or © -- is one part of a copyright notice placed on written works to ...

How to Copyright Choreography

A copyright affords protection to creators and owners of unique intellectual property that is fixed in some permanent, ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED