Significance of the Copyright Notice and Symbol

The copyright notice and symbol are placed next to the original work to let others know about the rights and ownership of the protected material. You can see the copyright notices and symbols in books, the footer of websites and post-credits of movies and television shows. The notice mentions the year of creation and name of the owner and is accompanied by the copyright symbol.

Using the Copyright Notice and Symbols to declare ownership of the creative work is the sole responsibility of the owner of the copyright and does not require any prior permission from the Indian Copyright Office.

What are a Copyright Notice and Symbols?

To use the notice and symbols, copyright registration is not mandatory, since copyright is an automatic protection that is conferred when the work is created. However, the format of the notice can be different for registered and unregistered copyrights. Here is how you can write a copyright statement.

How to write a Copyright Notice 

The copyright notice contains the year of creation, the name of the rightful owner, and the copyright symbol.

  • A copyright notice often looks like this:

Copyright © (Year of Creation) (Name of the Rightful Owner)

For instance, a final notice can be written as:

 Copyright ©2018 Less Than Equals Private Ltd.

  • In case the Copyright is registered, then the notice usually mentions that the rights have been registered. 

Copyright ©2018 Less Than Equals Private Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

If you are copyrighting a collection of content, let’s say short stories, for instance, the date of the notice must contain the year on which the last collection of content was created and added.

Is a Copyright Notice Mandatory?

Placing a copyright notice on your work is not a mandatory requirement for protection. However, a notice is always recommended as it warns people about exploiting the material without your permission, preventing them from taking credit for your work.

When a copyrighted work is infringed, the primary defense of the infringers is that their intent was innocent, and they had no idea about the protection linked to the work.

The notice eliminates innocent infringement, which can otherwise reduce the penalties on infringement.

Purpose of the Notice

The notice functions as a declaration of ownership and serves the following purposes:

  • The notice informs the public that the work is protected by copyright
  • It gives the name of the rightful owner. So, the paternity and credit of the work cannot be misjudged
  • It also gives the year on which the right was created, and helps calculate the term of protection.
  • Since the work carries a notice, grounds of innocent infringement cannot be sought by the infringer.

How to Type the Copyright Symbol?

The most popular way to use the copyright symbol is to use the lowercase ‘c’ between parenthesis brackets – (c). This is also used as a shortcut in many operating systems, which automatically changes the (c) to the copyright symbol ©.

Alternatively, you can use the following keyboard codes:

  • For Windows operating system: Alt + 0169
  • For Mac Operating System: Option + G

In most application and mobile keyboards, the copyright symbol is a part of the symbols keypad making it effortless to insert.


There are different formats for copyright notices, however, the function of the notice remains the same – to give the declaration of ownership for the protected work.

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