How Important is a Copyright Notice

October 7th, 2013

by Nelson Ford

Your copyright notice should look something like this:

The (C) is generally not acceptable (the C must be enclosed in a full circle), so spell out copyright or abbreviate it COPYR. If you have revisions spanning multiple years, list them all. The complete notice should be on one line. FILE A FORM TX! Speaking from experience garnered from someone ripping off the heart of this Guide as the basis for a book, I cannot advise you strongly enough to file a form TX. If someone rips you off, it makes going after them MUCH easier. Filing the copyright forms is cheap and easy. Start by going to the U.S. Copyright Office and downloading Form TX with instructions.

You will end up filling out 1 copy of Form TX and sending it and the current fee to the address on the form. You will need to include one copy of your source code and 1 copy of your documentation. Then, wait about three months to get it back. The effective date is the day they receive it.

You might also want to get forms SE for serial or collective works and anthologies or form GR/CP for group registrations of existing works.

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