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Archive for the ‘Formalities’ Category

How to Write Copyright Symbols

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(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

Copyright, Grammar & Notices

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This post was motivated by a question I received by e-mail about Vol. 1 of the Copyright Myths & Misconceptions series. The question, which was about a post on Tina Rathore’s filling Interstices blog, asked

Is it right to write “© Copyright by tina rathore ” with every blog post? I mean shouldn’t it be “copyrighted to Tina Rathore”? Please explain.

We are discussing this on Tina’s blog (link is Thanks.

Of the options that were presented in this question — using “Copyright by Tina Rathore” or “Copyright to Tina Rathore” — I probably would lean toward using the latter. Ultimately, though, neither of these choices seems satisfying or correct in light of some applicable research I am doing.

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Copyright Myths & Misconceptions

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Before I delve into the substantive law and theory of U.S. copyright, I will address some common myths and misconceptions I have heard routinely about this topic. As I have outlined previously, copyright now is commonly applicable to people’s everyday actions. This wide applicability, however, has not necessarily resulted in the average Joe and Jane having a higher copyright IQ.

One need look no further than Twitter to see how many of these misconceptions get originated and repeated. I have seen tweets that claimed to copyright a hairdo. I have seen tweets that assumed the year’s passage would allow them to freely copy on Jan. 1 work that was protected by copyright on Dec. 31. (Both statements are incorrect.)

But folks on Twitter are not the only ones who commonly commit basic copyright errors. News journalists — who really should know better — frequently get basic copyright concepts incorrect. Too often reporters conflate copyright and other forms of intellectual property. Even intellectual property lawyers routinely provide incorrect information about U.S. copyright. For example, I have seen posts from intellectual property lawyers that claim “If you find a picture on Flickr, another blog, or somewhere else online and upload it to your own blog (or worse yet, inline link to it from your blog) without permission, you’re committing a copyright violation.” On its face, that is simply an incorrect statement, mainly because it fails to allow for a raft of limitations in the Copyright Act of 1976.

Thus, with this post, I address (and hopefully resolve) some of the common copyright myths I have seen, heard, or encountered in my years of dealing with this topic. Consider this to be the first in a recurring series: I will provide updates occasionally as I come across newer and more interesting or perplexing myths and misconceptions.

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Why Copyright Is Important

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Copyright used to be a topic that interested a nerdy or specialized few, and affected a limited amount of works and creators. This post outlines some reasons why copyright’s scope, breadth, and applicability has expanded, and why this area of intellectual property has become so important.

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