The simplest answer is no, you don’t need to put a copyright notice on your website. As soon as you create your website it’s instantly protected by copyright. This is the same law that protects movies, music and art. However, the NOLO law firm insists that a Copyright notice on your website may help you win more money if you successfully bring suit against someone for copyright infringement.
To learn more about American copyright law, consider reading this twelve page introductory guide, published by the United States government. If you would like to put a copyright notice on your website, here’s how to do it correctly.
How to Correctly Format the Copyright Mark
A correctly formatted copyright notice has three different parts. These don’t have to be in any particular order, but common sense dictates that they are arranged like this.
- The © symbol, or the words copyright.
- The date that your website was published. When you do minor updates on your site you don’t need to change the copyright date. However, you should update the date after any large changes.
- The name of the website’s owner. That means that even if you paid a firm to design your website, you’ll put your name here.
A final thought is that some people use a copyright notice to indicate that you’ve reached the end of the page. It’s a well recognized symbol and an easy way to let people know there’s nothing further on the page.