What is the proper way to write a Copyright notice?

If your a website owner the I bet you are wondering what the proper way to write a Copyright notice? Especially those who write their own stories or poems. Well here is your answer.

What’s the proper Copyright Notice?:
Since 1989, there is no longer a legal requirement for a copyright notice. However, placing a copyright notice on your work puts the world on notice that you are claiming ownership. This prevents anyone from copying your work and claiming they are an “innocent infringer”; that they didn’t know the work was protected. The following notice should be placed on copyrighted works:

Copyright © 2004 COPYRIGHT OWNERS NAME. All rights reserved.

Although not legally required, it is recommended that both the term “Copyright” and the “©” symbol be used for works displayed online. This is because some web browsers may not be able to display the “c-in-a-circle” symbol that is required for international protection in some countries. The date should be the year of publication.

Can’t I simply use the © symbol and claim Copyright?:
Copyright exists immediately when an original work is created and fixed into a writing, tape, or electronic medium. However, while legally correct, the right immediately created through original creation does not entitle you to bring legal action for infringement. A delay in registration may limit the amount of damages that can be awarded should a finding of infringement occur. What if someone copied your work but your copyright was not registered?

Who can obtain a Copyright?
The author of an original work or someone who has obtained rights through the author can rightfully claim copyright. If created during the scope of employment, the employer and not the employee is considered the author. The creators of joint works are co-owners of the copyright unless they have agreed to the contrary. Minors may claim copyright, however state laws may regulate their business dealings.

What is the difference between Copyright, Trademark and Patent?
Although there may be some similarities among these kinds of intellectual property protection, they are different and serve different purposes: A copyright is a form of protection provided for original works of authorship, while a patent protects inventions or discoveries. A trademark is a word, name, symbol, or device that is used in trade with goods to indicate the source of the goods and to distinguish them from the goods of others. A servicemark is the same as a trademark except that it identifies and distinguishes the source of a service rather than a product.

What is “fair use” of Copyrighted material?
Under U.S. Copyright law, “fair use” of a copyrighted work is allowed for the limited purposes of non-commercial comment, criticism, news reporting, scholarship, classroom use, or research and is not an infringement of copyright. Any other use is a violation of U.S. Copyright laws.

Full article and credit is found here: http://www.gocopyright.com/guide.htm

Thanks to Brennie over at http://www.dreamscapewebdesigns.com for bringing this article to my attention.

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