Whether or not you register the rights to your work with the Copyright Office, you can still use a copyright notice in your work. You have all legal rights and claims to your work the moment you put words on paper. It helps to register, but you still own the copyright and have every right to use a copyright notice on your projects.

The copyright notice simply notifies readers that, yes, the work is protected by copyright. You can be as specific as you want with this copyright. These are the basic features of a copyright notice.

1. Copyright – The word copyright or the symbol © works well to clearly let people know that this is a copyright notice. Many people use both the symbol and the word to make sure that everyone understands the meaning.

2. Name – Your name is another important part of the copyright notice. You must declare who owns the copyright. If it belongs to your company, and not to you, you must put a company name.

3. Date: It helps to put at least the year the copyright was created. This helps establish when the document was created and will help others discover who wrote the document first if there is a dispute.

4. Rights Reserved: The “All Rights Reserved” statement used to be included in copyright notices because certain countries around the world required it. It is still often used with copyright notices, even if it is no longer required.

5. Details: If you’re giving partial reprint rights if your name and link are intact, or if you’re not giving anyone permission to use your content, it’s helpful to state this in your copyright notice.

Example of copyright notice:

Copyright © John Smith 2000 All rights reserved. No part of this document may be reproduced without the written consent of the author.

This should be all you need to write a copyright notice for any document. This works for any type of project, document, web page, piece of music, or anything else you create.

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