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3. What is a copyright notice? If I am the copyright owner, is it necessary to have a copyright notice on my work?

A copyright notice is a notice placed on a copyright work which consists of three parts: (i) the symbol " ©" or the word "Copyright"; (ii) the year of first publication; and (iii) the name of the copyright owner. An example of a copyright notice is " © 2005 ABC Company". As copyright does not require any formalities, such a notice is not necessary in order for the work to enjoy copyright protection.


However, there are good reasons for including a copyright notice on your copyright work. First, a copyright notice informs the whole world who the copyright owner is, and when the copyright is created. Secondly, the notice prevents an infringer from claiming to be an "innocent infringer" (i.e. did not know, and had no reason to believe, that copyright subsisted in the work in question) and thereby avoiding liability for damages (compensation) by virtue of section 108(1) of the Copyright Ordinance.


For more information about who owns the copyright in a work, please go to question 4 and question 13.