How to use copyright and notice

A copyright does not require any particular format for use. It is recommended, although not mandatory, that a copyright notice be included on all copies of the work. The copyright notice should be placed in a noticeable location, and a quick review of similar types of works would show conventional locations for placing the notice. Examples of conventional locations for copyright notice are: the title page or backside of the title page of a book, inside the cover page of a multi-page catalog, towards the bottom of the front or back of a single-page brochure, or situated somewhere on the page of a document that contains the contact information for your company. The copyright notice usually appears on one of the first, if not the first, display screens when a computer program is started, and the notice is conventionally placed within the title block of drawings.

Copyright notice consists of either the symbol © or the word “Copyright,” followed by the name of the copyright owner and the year in which the underlying work was published. The year date is not the year that the particular copy was printed, but rather “the year of first publication of the work,” i.e. when a tangible copy is distributed to the public. The year date does not have to appear on select items, including greeting cards, postcards, stationery, jewelry, dolls, toys, or useful articles. Even though a copyright notice does not appear on a competitor’s products, this does not mean that the work is free from copyright protection.