Many people intuitively understand the idea of putting a copyright notice on a published work, such as a poem, book, or photograph. But in the digital world, should you also put a copyright notice on a website? The short answer is yes. Websites should have a copyright notice. The most common placement of such a notice is in the footer (bottom) of each page.
The purpose of any copyright notice is to make clear to third-parties that the work is copyrighted and may not be reproduced without the copyright owner's permission. It does not cost anything to place this type of statement near the copyright notice, and it may help deter copyright infringement. Here are some examples of warning statements you can use near a copyright notice on a website:
© [COPYRIGHT OWNER'S NAME], 2017. No part of this site, [DOMAIN NAME], may be reproduced in whole or in part in any manner without the permission of the copyright owner.
© [COPYRIGHT OWNER'S NAME], 2017. No part of the materials available through the [DOMAIN NAME] site may be copied, photocopied, reproduced, translated or reduced to any electronic medium or machine-readable form, in whole or in part, without prior written consent of [COPYRIGHT OWNER'S NAME]. Any other reproduction in any form without the permission of [COPYRIGHT OWNER'S NAME] is prohibited. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of [COPYRIGHT OWNER'S NAME].
On the other hand, some website owners are happy to permit certain types of unauthorized copying, while prohibiting others. To make it clear to web users what types of copying are permissible, you can include a statement like the following along with the copyright notice:
© [COPYRIGHT OWNER'S NAME], 2017. The materials on this website may be copied online, but may not be reproduced in print or any other media without written permission.
© [COPYRIGHT OWNER'S NAME], 2017. The materials on this website may be copied for noncommercial personal use only.
© [COPYRIGHT OWNER'S NAME], 2017. The materials on this website may be freely copied and distributed so long as our copyright notice and Website address is included.
Remember, in copyright law, one does not need the notice to have a valid copyright, Rather, the purpose of the notice is to literally notify third parties that you are cognizant of your rights and intend to enforce them. Your goal is to deter infringers.
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