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Re: (C) vs. ©

Shriramana Sharma wrote:

>I have heard that in copyright declarations like:
>Copyright (C) 2007, Company X, Country Y. All rights reserved.
>it is incorrect to use (C) in place of the symbol © which is the strict 
>copyright symbol. Is this so?
This is not legal advice, but I believe this is correct.

> If yes, why?
It is not clear whether "(C)" has legal effect; it probably doesn't.  
The "C in a circle" is in the Universal Copyright Convention and various laws
(but mostly the UCC).

>Further, whether (C) or ©, isn't it superfluous to use it after the 
>word "copyright" which itself means the same thing?

Almost superflous.  It's completely superfluous for domestic 
copyright in the US (and all other countries I know of), and for 
international copyright in any country which signed the Berne Convention.

However, the symbol is relevant for the Universal Copyright Convention.
Under the UCC, a proper copyright notice contains the C in a circle, 
and the word "copyright" is *not* sufficient.  So this is relevant 
strictly for getting copyright in countries which are UCC members but 
*not* Berne members (Berne doesn't require any notices, and almost all 
countries are Berne members).

The UCC as far as I can tell is usually interpreted quite strictly, so 
if you're obsessed with getting UCC copyright protection, you should use 
the proper symbol and not an approximation to it.

The following UCC signatories have not signed the Berne Convention:
(1) Andorra
(2) Cambodia
(3) Laos
(4) Saudi Arabia
(5) Turkmenistan
(6) Uzbekistan

So the "C in a circle" is *only* relevant in international law if you 
are trying to get copyright protection in one of those six countries, 
without doing whatever is required there to acquire a local copyright.
If you really do care about those six countries, you should probably
just get a local copyright!

(Remember, this isn't legal advice; for all I know the C in a circle
is referenced in a bilateral copyright treaty with Vietnam or some
other really obscure thing I haven't checked.  But I doubt it.)

In addition, "All rights reserved" is completely, totally superfluous 
for new works published anywhere, since it related only to rights under 
the Buenos Aires Convention, and *every* Buenos Aires signatory has 
signed Berne.  Don't use that phrase, as it confuses people.

So a good copyright statement in ASCII looks like this:

Copyright 2007 Company X.

If you care about Andorra or Cambodia and have Unicode you can do this:

Copyright © 2007 Company X.

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