Contrary to what many people believe, the © symbol isn’t necessary to provide copyright protection. This myth that the © symbol is essential goes against a basic legal principle: content is protected by copyright as soon as it is created, without requiring any further formalities or notices.
Not only is this principle recognized in Canada’s Copyright Act, it has also been a part of international law for a long time. In fact, automatic protection is one of the three fundamental rights in the 1886 Berne Convention , which has been signed by 175 countries , and is an integral part of international treaties.
Therefore, even if the © symbol isn’t shown or a copyright notice isn’t added, that doesn’t mean there’s no copyright on the content.
If it’s not compulsory, why is the © symbol used?
The © symbol is important because it’s universally recognized and reminds users the content is protected by copyright. If the © symbol is included, users can’t claim they didn’t know the work was copyrighted.
The symbol is useful for protecting copyright, especially when the principle of automatic protection is misunderstood. Plus, if the symbol is accompanied by the name of the author or copyright owner, it tells users who to contact to get permission for use.
In other words, even though the role of the © symbol isn’t always clear, it may have helped you avoid copyright infringement. That’s great! But don’t forget that copyright protection can apply even if there’s no © symbol or notice!