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Content, Writing and Copyright Forum

What is the correct format and positioning for Copyright notice

 6:19 pm on Mar 8, 2002 (gmt 0)

I want to include copyright information on a new website to help protect the content and I see so many sites displaying the copyright symbol and information in different formats.

My understanding is that the definitive format for the visible page is (for example):
(C) Copyright 2002 COMPANYNAME

Should I include "All Rights Reserved"

Additionally, I plan to add the copyright information to the meta data as follows (for example):

<META NAME="copyright" content="2002 COMPANYNAME">

Finally, is is necessary for the copyright notice to appear on every page?



 6:49 pm on Mar 8, 2002 (gmt 0)

I use find and replace to update all that stuff with my text editor... Next site I build will have a nice little SSI footer include. :)

I've used the following formats:

© 2000-02 Company Name, Inc.
All Original Content © 2000-02 Company Name, Inc.
Site Contents/Photography © 2001 Company Name, Inc.
All Original Content © 2000-02 Company Name, Inc., All Rights Reserved

In some cases, the site will include product photos or product manuals/manufacturer's literature that we clearly cannot claim copyright over, which is when I start specifying "All Original Content" or what have you.


 6:57 pm on Mar 8, 2002 (gmt 0)

I've been using this one for quite some time.

© Copyright 2002 Company Name. All rights reserved.
All trademarks and service marks are the properties of their respective owners.

I wonder if there is one correct format for this. I make this part of a footer include on all pages.


 6:59 pm on Mar 8, 2002 (gmt 0)

> Finally, is is necessary for the copyright notice to appear on every page?

I've been advised that the answer is no - just as a book doesn't place the notice on every page, neither does a domain name need to.

That said, I like placing it on every page in the footer. I put contact information there as well (address and phone) so that info is easily available.


 7:09 pm on Mar 8, 2002 (gmt 0)

The order is correct, but it is not really necessary to include both the © symbol and the word "Copyright". They both mean the same thing.

Also, there is no reason for writing (C) when you can use the symbol ©. In case you needed it, you can insert the symbol from your favorite text editor, or hold Alt while pressing 0-1-6-9 in order on the Number pad. When typing HTML code you can also use \& copy;(without the space, of course).

As for "ALL RIGHTS RESERVED". It doesn't hurt anything, though it is no longer legally required (as it once was in some countries). Remember the whole point of the notice is to provide an explicit warning. The copyright exists even if there is no copyright notice. "All rights reserved" does not strengthen the copyright itself, but it may serve as a stronger warning to some.

Similarly, it's not strictly necessary to include the notice on every page (anymore than it is legally necessary to include it at all to have the copyright), but it can't hurt. Just make sure it's appropriate, i.e., beware of including a copyright notice next to material the company does not hold the copyright to, such as material in the public domain. (Notices should include appropriate acknowledgment of the copyrights of others whose material is used/displayed on the page.)

Another thing worth checking. Make sure the company name is the correct one and in the correct form! That may sound silly, but with the complex legal and ownership arrangements among companies, the legal name of the entity holding the copyright isn't necessarily something you can assume.

One final point about copyright. Including a notice is a practical help in protecting one's copyright, since it makes the point clear to readers who may incorrectly assume material without the notice is not under copyright, or otherwise misunderstand copyright. And it's simple enough to do. But it's not the best method to obtain strong legal protection of the copyright(ability to prove it is your copyrighted material or to collect damages). The route provided for this sort of protection, at least in the US, is the registration of the copyright. (Provisions vary in different countries; in the US the mechanism is registration with the Library of Congress... yes, that means forms!)


 7:11 pm on Mar 8, 2002 (gmt 0)

I like placing it on every page in the footer. I put contact information there as well

Same here... Cram all that "Look, we are a legitimate real-world company" looking stuff at the bottom of every page for good measure.


 7:56 pm on Mar 8, 2002 (gmt 0)

Excerpt from Copyright Law And You.

Q. Are there any requirements to receive protection under the federal law?

A. Yes. the work must be original and fixed. The work doesn't have to be one of a kind, for example, if you write a book about Bass fishing techniques it is original without being unique. There will be other books on Bass fishing techniques sitting beside it on bookshelves. Fixed means that the work must not be transitory but recorded in a medium that allows for reproduction- typed, written, recorded, etc.

Q. If it doesn't have a copyright mark is it protected by copyright?

A. More than likely YES. If the work was created after March 1st, 1989 any copyright mark or notice is OPTIONAL. Copyright marks take the following forms:

© followed by a date and name
"Copyright" followed by a date and name
"Copr" followed by a date and name.



 1:54 pm on Mar 9, 2002 (gmt 0)

I use a copyright footer on each page:
©2002 but follow with the company name in link form - I use an absolute path url for this (for a number of reasons).


 2:47 pm on Mar 9, 2002 (gmt 0)

Something thatís been brought up recently to me, in terms of the copyright notice, is whether the text itself and in the case of turning it into links, dilutes or takes away from the theme of the page. Along with that, how it affects keyword density. Itís been suggested that the notice be placed in an image. Does anyone have feelings about that. Some of these copyright notices are long and if the address and such are included they become even longer notices on each page. What does that do to the site as a whole?


 12:06 am on Mar 10, 2002 (gmt 0)

Depends on the site, if you have a local interest site, adding the contact info together with the copyright is a good plan. Definitely helps trigger click throughs from searches using home town/county/state.


 7:20 pm on Mar 10, 2002 (gmt 0)

Turning the domain name into a link, and in my case, a link back to the index page, is something I am experimenting with now. As far as passing some of the PR value on, it will work. Whether or not this tactic falls into the "over optimization" category, I don't know. Using it as a link to different pages may be "pushing the envelope" at little too much ;). In my case it is a 3kw domain name.
I have not included it on pages where it does interfere with the Kwd of the page and used it to enlarge page size on other pages. Tweak it to fit the pages it appears on.
As far as themes go. The whole site is very tightly themed, so whenever it is used, it fits the theme.


 7:07 am on Mar 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

Keep in mind that the & copy; © symbol doesn't show up in all charsets. I know that it doesn't work on Japanese or Chinese systems, so I always make sure that I write out the word Copyright in full.


 6:59 am on Apr 1, 2002 (gmt 0)

Copyright notices can be confusing. Having written and published books and magazines, the policies are different. There will also be differences in web sites, but the policies will be the same.

In a book, that is written entirely by one person, you only need one copyright notice. The same would go with a web site, but only if EVERY word and piece of art work is yours.

In a magazine, that uses articles and photographs submitted by freelance writers or photographers, a copyright notice is usually placed at the end of each freelance article, to protect the rights of the person submitting the content. And if you really want to do it right, once a month or year, depending on how much new information you have, you can send a collection of all the material you want copyright protection on, to the copyright office.

The technique I use on our web sites is to place the copyright notice only on the pages that need it, and then I specify what part of the page is copyrighted, such as the background, photographs, or the text of a story.

Just my 2 cents worth

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