By the end of this quick video you’re going to know why it’s important to put a copyright notice on your blog or website. You’ll also learn what a copyright notice means, when to use it, and what it prevents.
First, what goes in a copyright notice?
There are three elements to a proper notice.
1. The copyright symbol or the word “copyright”
2. The year of first publication of the copyrighted work
3. Is the name of the owner of the copyright.
You will see that on the bottom of websites, you will see it on the inside of albums, but for our purposes we’re talking about the bottom of websites and we’re talking about the show notes, maybe, for a podcast.
Q: When can you use the copyright symbol?
A: Any time.
You can use it once that copyrighted material escapes your brain and is “fixed in a tangible medium of expression…” That’s fancy lawyer speak for living outside of your head and written out on paper. It’s a protectable, copyrighted work long as it’s recorded or put somewhere that others can see and experience it. (Even if that “other” is just you.)
You don’t have to have your work registered with the Copyright Office in order to use that © symbol or the copyright notice.
Is putting a copyright notice on my website that important?
It used to be required in order to have copyright protection! Nowadays, that’s not the case. You still have protection regardless of whether you publish something with a proper notice.
HOWEVER, if you don’t have a copyright notice, then an infringer could claim “innocent infringement.”
That comes into play and is a big deal because you’ve heard me talk about statutory damages as a benefit of copyright registration, right? Those big money damages, and the right to get your attorneys’ fees, those are reserved only for works that are registered with the Copyright Office.
If someone can claim innocent infringement, then their monetary liability — the amount of money they’re required to pay you for infringement — is knocked down drastically.
So, we want to avoid anyone claiming innocent infringement. Use that copyright notice, it’s not hard.
Remember: copyright symbol, year of publication, owner.
And remember that you don’t have to have a registration in order to use that notice.
So I hope that helps you understand when, where, and why to use a copyright notice on your blog or website.