Copyright Symbol

Copy and Paste

Click to Copy ▼
HTML Meaning
© ©
Default copyright sign
This is the standard copyright symbol used in legal contexts and is recognized internationally.
Circled Latin Small Letter C
This is a stylistic variant of the letter "c" encased in a circle. While it looks similar to the copyright symbol, it's not an official representation of copyright.
Circled Latin Capital Letter C
Just like the previous symbol, this is a capital letter "C" encased in a circle. It's also a stylistic representation and not the official copyright symbol.
©️ © ️
Copyright sign with emoji variation
Standard copyright symbol rendered in an emoji style due to the variation selector. May appear more graphic or colorful on certain platforms.
Copyleft symbol
This is the "copyleft" symbol, which indicates that a work may be used freely but only under the same freedom-for-others conditions. Unlike the copyright symbol, which restricts reproduction, distribution, and adaptation of the work, the copy left symbol encourages derivative work but with the same open conditions.
Sound Recording Copyright Symbol
Indicates copyright for sound recordings, distinguishing them from literary, musical, or visual works.

What is the Copyright Symbol?

The copyright symbol, designated as ©, is commonly used in works such as books, websites, music, paintings, and other forms of media to denote that the work is protected by copyright law. The symbol is usually accompanied by the year of the work's first publication and the name of the copyright owner.

How to Use the Copyright Symbol

To use the copyright symbol, place it at the beginning or end of your work, typically at the bottom of a page or screen. A typical format is:

© 2023 Your Name or Your Company's Name

Other common usages include:

  • At the beginning of a book or publication.
  • On the footer of a website.
  • Within the credits of movies or TV shows.
  • On music album covers or within liner notes.

Remember, while the symbol provides notice of copyright, its placement should not obstruct or distract from the main content.

Some Countries Have Different Usage for the Copyright Symbol

The copyright symbol (©) is standardized by the Universal Copyright Convention, ensuring its consistent appearance across member countries. However, cultural nuances and local practices can influence its usage and presentation. Here's a look at how the symbol is employed in various countries:

Country Usage and Cultural Nuances
Japan In addition to the '©' symbol, the phrase 著作権 (chosakuken) meaning 'copyright' may accompany the symbol for clarity in official documents or publications. Vertical writing might influence the symbol's placement.
China Similar to Japan, the '©' symbol is universally recognized but might be accompanied by the term 版权 (bǎnquán) meaning 'copyright' in formal contexts.
Russia The '©' symbol is standard, but it might be followed by the term Авторское право (Avtorskoye pravo) meaning 'copyright' in formal publications or legal contexts.
Brazil While the '©' symbol is standard, it could be followed by 'Direitos Reservados' meaning 'All Rights Reserved' to emphasize copyright exclusivity.
Saudi Arabia Alongside the '©' symbol, the Arabic text حقوق النشر (Haqooq al-Nashr) meaning 'publishing rights' might be used in publications to signify copyright.
India The '©' symbol is standard and widely recognized. However, in multilingual publications, it might be translated into various Indian languages, e.g., हक़ (Hak) in Hindi or உரிமை (Urimai) in Tamil.
France The symbol '©' is typically followed by 'Tous droits réservés' meaning 'All Rights Reserved' in formal contexts.
Germany The '©' symbol might be accompanied by 'Alle Rechte vorbehalten' meaning 'All Rights Reserved.'

Common Mistakes in Using the Copyright Symbol

  1. Using © for Unpublished Works: The copyright symbol typically denotes rights to a published work. Some jurisdictions might have specific indications for unpublished materials.
  2. Mistaking it for Other Symbols: Don't confuse © with other intellectual property symbols like ™ (trademark) or ® (registered trademark).
  3. Incorrect Date Attribution: Always use the date of first publication when displaying the copyright symbol. Using a future or inaccurate date can mislead readers and weaken your legal standing.
  4. Assuming Universal Protection: Using the copyright symbol doesn't guarantee protection in all countries. While many nations recognize the Berne Convention, it's essential to understand local copyright laws where your work will be distributed or used.

Does Using the Copyright Symbol Offer Legal Protection?

The act of creating an original work grants copyright protection, not the use of the copyright symbol itself. However, the symbol serves as a public notice that the work is copyrighted. Even without displaying the symbol, the work is protected by copyright from the moment of its creation and fixation in tangible form. Displaying the symbol, however, can provide additional legal advantages in some jurisdictions.

A Brief History of Copyright

The concept of copyright originated in England during the 16th century. The first recognized copyright law, the Statute of Anne, was passed in England in 1710. Over time, as information spread globally, especially during the digital age, copyright laws evolved. The copyright symbol, ©, was standardized with the Universal Copyright Convention in 1952.

How to Type the Copyright Symbol Using Keyboard Shortcuts and Alt Codes

  • On Windows: Hold down the Alt key on your keyboard and type 0169 on the numeric keypad, then release the Alt key.
  • On Mac: Press Option + G.
  • On many Linux systems: Press Ctrl + Shift + u, then type a9 and press Enter.
  • For HTML coding: Use the named entity © or the numeric entity ©.

Symbols' Images

Default copyright signCircled Latin Small Letter CCircled Latin Capital Letter CCopyright sign with emoji variationCopyleft symbolSound Recording Copyright Symbol