How Is a Copyright Symbol Useful
Use of the copyright notice may be important because it informs the public that the work is protected by copyright, identifies the copyright owner, and shows the year of first publication. Furthermore, 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, then no weight shall be given to such a defendant's defense based on innocent infringement. Innocent infringement occurs when the infringer did not realize that the work was protected.
The use of the copyright notice is the responsibility of the copyright owner and does not require advance permission from, or registration with, the Copyright Office.
Correct Form for the Copyright Symbol
The notice for visually perceptible copies should contain all the following three elements:
1. The copyright symbol © (the letter C in a circle), or the word "Copyright", or the abbreviation "Copr".
2. The year of first publication of the work. In the case of compilations or derivative works incorporating previously published material, the year date of first publication of the compilation or derivative work is sufficient. The year date may be omitted where a pictorial, graphic, or sculptural work, with accompanying textual matter, if any, is reproduced in or on greeting cards, postcards, stationery, jewelry, dolls, toys, or any useful article.
3. The name of the owner of copyright in the work, or an abbreviation by which the name can be recognized, or a generally known alternative designation of the owner.
Example: copyright © 2002 John Doe
The © or "C in a circle" notice or symbol is used only on visually perceptible copies.
Position of Notice
The copyright notice should be affixed to copies in such a way as to give reasonable notice of the claim of copyright.
The three elements of the notice should ordinarily appear together on the copies.