Almost all creators of works automatically become owners of intellectual property upon publication if they reside in one of the 179 countries covered by the Berne Convention. To do this, they do not have to register anything, undergoing complex bureaucratic procedures. However, national registration is required to prove copyright.
Meaning and History
Copyright is used to protect the intangible creations of the intellect. Its owners are free to reproduce and copy their creative work – usually for a limited period. The duration of copyright depends on the life span of the person who created the work and expires several decades after his death.
The copyright notice uses a special symbol that looks like a large “C” inside a ring. Until 1989, this mark was mandatory: US law required copyright holders to affix it next to intellectual property, indicating the year the work was recorded on the tangible medium and the author’s name.
The Berne Convention was adopted in 1989. It allowed the use of © only at will because the creators of the intellectual property began to receive copyright automatically. But it should be borne in mind that the presence of a “C” in the circle helps to prove the damage done if the case goes to court.
The original symbol was introduced in 1952 following the adoption of the Universal Copyright Convention. However, it existed before: the © sign was first mentioned in the Copyright Act of 1909. Until 1909, legislation allowed copyright holders to use only the word “Copyright” or its abbreviated version “Copr.”. The artists did not like this requirement: they wanted to indicate their name on the picture without unnecessary text. The government made concessions to them and replaced the long inscriptions with a capital letter “C” inside the ring.
The Copyright mark cannot be called a full-fledged emblem because it fulfills a legal function and does not belong to any particular organization. It is an abbreviation for “Copyright,” placed inside a white circle with a black outline. To reproduce it, there is a special character that has the Unicode U + 00A9. Sometimes © is replaced with a simple “C” in parentheses. This option (C) arose because there was no corresponding sign on the typewriters. Alternative versions with inscriptions are also allowed: abbreviation “Copr.” or the word “Copyright” without abbreviations.
Font and Colors of the Emblem
The letter “C” in the classic version is bold, capitalized, and has no serifs. It resembles an open ring and is the same thickness as the width of the circular frame. However, the Unicode Copyright symbol (U + 00A9) looks very different: a long serif is at the top end of the “C,” and the arc-shaped line is tapering on both sides. As such, the letter looks like the capital “C” in Times New Roman.
The copyright mark is most often black, with elements on a white background. But when you consider that it is used in different visual contexts, the color can change arbitrarily. There are no rules that limit the palette. The main thing is that the © symbol is visible.