U.S. law no longer requires the use of a copyright notice. However, prior law did contain such a requirement, and the use of a notice is still relevant to the copyright status of older works.
Works published before January 1, 1978, are governed by the previous copyright law. Under that law, if a work was published under the copyright owner’s authority without a proper notice of copyright, all copyright protection for that work was permanently lost in the United States.
The Benefits of a Copyright Notice
Although a copyright notice is not required, it is certainly beneficial. A copyright notice informs the public that a work is protected by copyright, identifies the copyright owner, and shows the year of first publication.
More importantly, in the event that a work is infringed, if a copyright notice was used, the court will not give any weight to a defendant’s claim that he…
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