Talk:Copyright symbol

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject Typography (Rated Start-class, High-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Typography, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of articles related to Typography on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the quality scale.
 High  This article has been rated as High-importance on the importance scale.
WikiProject Law (Rated Start-class, High-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Law, an attempt at providing a comprehensive, standardised, pan-jurisdictional and up-to-date resource for the legal field and the subjects encompassed by it.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 High  This article has been rated as High-importance on the project's importance scale.


We sort of have a self-reflexive definition here in the lede: "The copyright symbol... is [a] symbol..." Any good suggestions to replace that second "symbol"? --Midnightdreary (talk) 17:49, 3 April 2008 (UTC)

I think it's fine. There are many symbols, and this is one of them. I think we can expect the reader to know what a symbol is. For the occasional reader who does not, I just added a wikilink to symbol. I think that's sufficient. Trying to avoid use of the word "symbol" will just reduce clarity, I think. TJRC (talk) 19:35, 3 April 2008 (UTC)

Korean use of Unicode U+24D2[edit]

An editor has added some text that is essentially unsourced, much of which is also erroneous:

Some Korean websites use ⓒ (U+24D2, CIRCLED LATIN SMALL LETTER C) symbol, the fake copyright symbol which looks alike to the real one, instead of © symbol, which is the real copyright symbol. The websites which use ⓒ instead of © are not under copyright at all since they are using the fake symbol, although it is because there is no © symbol in Korean code page.

There are at least a couple things things wrong with this. I've reverted it twice, so it's worth explaining.

  • The copyright symbol is legally defined by its appearance. There's nothing "fake" about using a character at a particular codepoint. See 17 USC § 401 for US law on its definition; and Universal Copyright Convention, Article III, § 1 for international law on its definition. Note that both of these definitions significantly pre-date Unicode. The U.S. statute was enacted in 1976 (and I think the copyright symbol was in the 1909 Act that preceded it, for that matter); and the UCC was signed in 1952. Obviously, neither was dependent on Unicode, which started up in the late 1980s.
  • The text above does not make clear whether the Korea referred to is North Korea or South Korea, but in any event, both nations are signatories to the Berne Convention, which prohibits a country from conditioning copyright on inclusion of a copyright notice. The claim that these web pages are "not under copyright at all since they are using the fake symbol" is clearly erroneous. The copyright symbol is superfluous.

Some kernels of truth or potential truth:

  • There is a character U+24D2 which appears as shown.
  • I have no knowledge of Korean code pages, so I don't know whether "there is no © symbol in Korean code page" is true or not. I'll leave that point in.

I've revised the text to the more simple and at least not not overtly wrong:

The character CIRCLED LATIN SMALL LETTER C (ⓒ, mapped in Unicode at position U+24D2[1]) is sometimes used as a substitute copyright symbol where the actual copyright symbol is not available in the character set; for example, in some Korean code pages.
  1. ^

I also converted the link from an inline link to a reference while I was at it. TJRC (talk) 05:48, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

Well, the thing is that the character © is officially named as COPYRIGHT SYMBOL but ⓒ isn't. ⓒ is just CIRCLED LATIN SMALL LETTER C, which isn't even related to copyright at all. --­ (talk) 07:37, 29 August 2008 (UTC)
Yes, the name that Unicode calls it by is CIRCLED LATIN SMALL LETTER C, not COPYRIGHT SYMBOL. That's noted. But what constitutes a legal copyright symbol is not defined by the Unicode Consortium or how it names things. The symbol is legally defined by its appearance, which is essentially a letter C in a circle. Both characters meet the legal definitions in the U.S. Copyright Act and the UCC. In short, CIRCLED LATIN SMALL LETTER C is related to copyright, regardless of whether the Unicode Consortium intended it to be. Furthermore, even if the CIRCLED LATIN SMALL LETTER C were not a legal copyright symbol, it would not affect the copyright of documents that used it, because the symbol is not a requirement for copyright; at least not in most of the world, in particular including the U.S. and both Koreas. TJRC (talk) 08:01, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

(C) or (c)[edit]

Is it (C) or (c) or either? Source? --Bensin (talk) 14:49, 25 October 2008 (UTC)

Neither if you can't use @ then The US Patent and Trademark office accepts "Copr." or "Copyright" spelled-out as substitutesBihco (talk) 22:19, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
The Patent and Trademark Office has nothing to do with copyright. To the extent that copyright is under any federal agency, it's within the purview of the Copyright Office, not the PTO. Early documents on Copyright Office procedure indicate that a wide variety of approximate symbols were acceptable, but ultimately, the issue of sufficiency of notice is a matter for the courts, not the CO. TJRC (talk) 22:40, 5 January 2009 (UTC)

Copyright symbol should be called "Copyright notice"?[edit]

I had a meeting with some officials at the US Library of Congress recently. During that meeting I used the term "copyright symbol" to refer to the circle-c. They said, actually it's called a copyright notice, not symbol.

Should the content on this page be moved to "Copyright notice" and redirect this page to that one? Stevemidgley (talk) 21:23, 21 February 2010 (UTC)

I think you had to have misunderstood something. The © character is the "copyright symbol." A "copyright notice" is the combination of the copyright symbol (or the word "copyright" or abbreviation "Copr."), the identity of the copyright owner, and the year of first publication. It's definitely not the symbol by itself. See TJRC (talk) 00:44, 22 February 2010 (UTC)
You are right - thanks. I'm sure I didn't misunderstand the folks at LoC but it's clear they were incorrect. Definitive reference on LoC's site: Stevemidgley (talk) 00:32, 14 January 2012 (UTC)
The Copyright Office page you're pointing to agrees with what I stated above: "the copyright notice generally consists of the symbol or word “copyright (or copr.),” the name of the copyright owner, and the year of first publication..." TJRC (talk) 23:30, 23 April 2015 (UTC)

"C in Circle" Spoken[edit]

In high school Spanish class we listened to tapes that had spoken copyright information (either at the beginning or end, not certain which) in which the narrator said "C in Circle", suggesting that saying it was equivalent to printing the copyright symbol. Seems odd since I would think saying the word "Copyright" would be enough. An admittedly cursory search didn't provide any information about this, so I was wondering if there's any legal precedent or requirements for saying "C in Circle" in spoken content, or if this was an odd fluke. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:18, 2 November 2014 (UTC)

For U.S, law, it's not material. The U.S. provision (in 17 U.S.C. § 401) refers only to putting a notice on "visually perceptible copies": "publicly distributed copies from which the work can be visually perceived, either directly or with the aid of a machine or device." So a spoken copyright notice has no legal effect.
The 1909 Copyright Act (which preceded the 1976 Act) didn't even initially allow for copyright of sound recordings, so the notice provision would not even have applied. I guess there was about a 6-year-period from when sound recordings were initially protected in 1972 until the 1976 Act with its explicit "visually perceptible copies" language took effect where it could have been an issue, but I don't think it ever came up.
Internationally, to the extent it still matters, the Universal Copyright Convention merely says "[a copyright notice requirement is satisfied if] all the copies of the work published with the authority of the author or other copyright proprietor bear the symbol © ...." So wasn't necessarily academic for non-US law, but given that this provision was placed as a bone-toss to the United States, and the United States only applied the requirement to "visually perceptible copies," in effect that was academic, too. TJRC (talk) 00:40, 4 November 2014 (UTC)

Another Copyright symbol?[edit]

I have inherited a very old print, almost 100 years old, of a woman-a flapper- standing by a curtain, looking out at the Taj Mahal and its reflecting pool in the moonlight. At the bottom right corner is the usual copyright symbol, but next to it is a different copyright symbol. It is a encirlced C with an o inside the C. So it a circle with a large C inside with a smaller o inside the C. I looked all over for an explanation but can find none. Does anyone know? Email me at — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:38, 16 December 2016 (UTC)