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A copyright symbol generally refers that copyright exists in the work. A copyright symbol is used with the main purpose to identify the work’s copyright owner. Also, it helps people who want to use the work to locate the copyright owner and get permission to use it. It also indicates the work’s first year of publication.
The symbol © is used universally to identify a work protected by copyright and to show its copyright owner. The symbol is not mandatory in the leading copyright convention, the Berne Copyright Treaty; however, the copyright symbol is required in the Universal Copyright Convention.
There are three important elements included in a copyright notice. First, it should be present with the “c” in a circle, ©, or the abbreviation “Copr.” or the word “copyright”. Second, the name of the copyright owner, not necessarily the author, should be included in the notice. Third, the year of first publication should be presented. An unpublished work does not usually include a copyright symbol; the year may be the year that the work is distributed, instead of year of publication.
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