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What is a copyright notice?
A copyright notice is a brief written statement that informs visitors about the copyright protection of your website and its content.
A standard copyright notice will typically look like this: © 2020 EasyLegalDocs. All rights reserved. It is used to protect the original and creative works or content of web authors or owners.
Do I need a copyright notice?
Though the law does not mandate you to have a copyright notice, you should still have one. Ideally, when releasing content into the public domain, you should consider including a notice to indicate that you are the content owner or creator.
Having a copyright notice in place helps deter violation or infringement of your copyright. By merely placing the notice on your website, you can notify all site visitors that your content is copyrighted. And you can also notify them of the scope of use of your copyright content.
A copyright notice warns visitors that your web content is subject to copyright and should not be copied. This gives you a legal basis for copyright protection. If anyone copies your website or its content, the copyright notice makes it easier to enforce a violation of your copyright.
Lastly, by using a copyright notice, you can also inform visitors of the scope of your copyright that is reserved. You can instantly notify them whether you are reserving all, or some, or no rights at all.
What should a copyright notice include?
A standard copyright notice should include the following:
- Copyright symbol: This is the first item that should be on your copyright notice. It is the © symbol depicted by the letter "c" in a small circle. You can do this by typing "ALT" + "0169" in Windows and "Option" + "G" in Mac. Or you can type "©" in HTML. Alternatively, you can write "Copyright".
- Web copyright owner: This spells out the name of the website copyright owner or author, and it can be the name of an individual, organization, or business.
- Copyright date: The date comes immediately after the copyright symbol and indicates the year of publication or year range of publication on the website. The copyright date is written in the year(s) format. For example 2020, 2015-2020, etc.
- Statement of Rights: This is the statement declaring the rights reserved under your copyright, whether all, or some, or none. All rights reserved means that you reserve all rights to your web content. Some rights reserved are often under Creative Commons License, which means that you permit the use of your content under specific circumstances such as full attribution or no alteration. Lastly, no rights reserved means that you do not place any restriction on the use of your copyright in the public domain.
Extending further, you may want to briefly elaborate on the applicability and permissions of your copyright use. This comprehensive copyright notice may include licenses, permissions, and the contact address for permission requests, takedown notices, or abuse reports.
Where should a copyright notice be displayed?
There is no convention as to where a copyright notice should be displayed on the website. But a copyright notice is usually displayed within the website footer. This is to ensure that it is displayed on every single web page that is visited. So, every visitor can know that your web content is subject to copyright.
In cases of mobile apps and the absence of a footer, you can place your copyright notice in the "about" section or "legal" menu.
How do I write a copyright notice?
Compared to other legal documents, the copyright notice is relatively easy to write. Writing a copyright notice should only take a few moments as it has just 4 major components, as earlier stated.
You should seek help when creating a more comprehensive copyright notice that spells out the licenses and permissions, including policies regarding takedown notices and abuse reports for specific-purpose websites.
You can get started right away with our comprehensive but concise copyright notice. You can download and edit our free template in Microsoft Word (.doc), Adobe (.pdf) or in using your Google Docs account.
All you have to do is answer just a few simple questions, and we will generate your copyright notice in seconds.