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Do I need a copyright notice to protect my work (writings, art, music, etc.)?

My document title

No, although it is recommended. On March 1, 1989, the U.S. adopted the Berne Convention and eliminated the requirement that a copyright notice be attached to works. Though no longer required, a copyright notice is often beneficial as it reminds content users that the work is protected by copyright law.

Should you elect to utilize a copyright notice, you may do so freely without permission from, or registration with, the U.S. Copyright Office.

The notice for visually perceptible copies should contain all the following three elements:

  • The symbol © (the letter C in a circle), or the word "Copyright," or the abbreviation "Copr."
  • The year of first publication of the work.
  • The name of the owner of copyright in the work.
    Example: © 2004 John Doe



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