PSU Insight

Protecting Your Intellectual Property

How to Obtain Copyright Protection

A copyright notice technically isn’t needed to establish your copyright on your work. Your original work is automatically “yours” from the moment you publish it. However, if someone does copy your original work and then claims ownership of it, it’s easier to prove that you were the original owner of the material if you have marked it with a copyright notice.

Copyrighting your material is easy! You simply use the copyright symbol ( © ) followed by the year that you produced the material and your name or your company name (whoever owns the copyright), as in:

© 2017 John Doe & Associates

Place this notice where it can’t be missed – print it directly on your audio CD or the cover sheet of your workbook. (If the material is easily separated – like a handout – it’s not a bad idea to put the copyright notice on every page.) Voila! Your material has been copyrighted.

(As I noted earlier, there is a more formal process that involves sending the material to the government’s copyright office. However, this procedure is usually unnecessary except for major products. For many situations, the procedure which I just described is sufficient to copyright your material.)