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Copyright Notice basics

You've created something original, so why not use a Copyright Notice to safeguard your intellectual property? Whether it's a written text, a visual work, or an audio recording, having a Copyright Notice attached to your work notifies others that you're the copyright owner. With your copyright secured, you can focus on your creative talents.

Use the Copyright Notice document if:

  • You want to provide notice to others that you claim copyright protection in your work.
  • You want to provide contact information so that potential licensees are able to properly identify the owner of the work.
  • You want to prevent accused copiers from arguing that their acts of copying were innocent mistakes.
  • You want to claim for yourself the full range of benefits afforded under copyright law.

A Copyright Notice lets the world know that you are the creator of an original work. In the United States, you own the copyright on a work the moment you fix it in a tangible medium; whether you use pencil, paint, paper, cloth, stone, film, or digital recordings, your work is protected. However, certain benefits are only available with a Copyright Notice, most notably monetary rewards in the case of a lawsuit. Personalize your Copyright Notice with details like: the copyright owner's name; whether the copyright owner is an individual or company; the title of the work (if there is one); the original publication date; whether it's a sound recording (excluding audiovisual works); any information on trademarks to be included in the notice; whether the work contains material from something originally created by the U.S. Government; and more. If your work incorporates earlier copyrighted material, include information about those elements too.

Other names for this document: Copyright Notice Form

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Sample Copyright Notice

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