Core Copyright

Copyright essentials for everyday creators

How to Write Copyright Symbols

with 2 comments

(Editor’s note: This is a follow-up to our post on how to write copyright notices.)

At some point, you will want or need to insert a copyright symbol into a written work. This post deals provides writers with advice on insert the “C in a circle” symbol.


The regular copyright symbol is something you can add to any original, creative work that is recorded in a way that others can perceive or recognize. Originality and fixation are the only two prerequisites to receiving copyright protection on a work, and therefore those are the only prerequisites required in order to use the regular copyright symbol.

General Guidelines

  • A creator is not required to use the © symbol on protected works.
  • There is no penalty for not using the © symbol on protected works.
  • Unlike in trademark law, there is no penalty for incorrectly using the © symbol.


Text documents (Windows):



Text documents (Mac):


Markup language documents

& # 169; (no spaces)


  • When inserting © into text documents, hold down all the keys simultaneously.
  • HTML documents likely also will accept © as the copyright symbol, but the other symbol is official HTML code.
  • This code also will work in XML, Javascript and most other Unicode conventions. XSL, however, may require & # xA9; (no spaces)
  • The closing semicolon must be included in all versions.
  • If none of these work, write a C in parentheses: (C).

Phonorecord Copyright Symbol

Although the “C in a circle” is the most common copyright symbol, there is a second symbol — a “P in a circle” — is used for protected phonorecords. (Phonorecords are the containers that hold sound recordings, and are commonly known as vinyl records, compact discs and cassette tapes.)

To my knowledge, there is no standard way to write the “P in a circle” symbol; this symbol depends upon whether a font family has included it in its collection. In a pinch, use (P) for the “P in a circle” symbol. For more information on typesetting the “P in a circle” symbol, please see the Offset wiki.

© Copyright 2011, Core Copyright. On Twitter @corecopyright


Written by K Matthew Dames

02/01/2011 at 09:00

Posted in Copyright, Formalities

2 Responses

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  1. Just wanted to add that the phonorecord symbol can be formatted (for the web at least) by using the following decimal code (hope this works): Ⓟ

    John Smith

    03/07/2015 at 08:13

  2. John Smith

    03/07/2015 at 08:14

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