Free technical help for digital creators - music, video, art, photography, graphic & web design

Displaying copyright information by Matt Ottewill

It is often desirable to clearly display copyright information. This indicates that a work is copyrighted and deters piracy. This article covers ...
  • Displaying copyright on music CDs
  • Displaying copyright in image and video preview files
  • Displaying copyright on web pages
  • Displaying copyright information in READ ME files
  • Displaying QuickTime licensing copyright info correctly on CD or DVD ROMs
  • Displaying Macromedia licensing copyright info correctly on CD or DVD ROMs

What information should be displayed?

In general, it is a good idea to clearly display the following information ...

  • © ... the universally accepted symbol indicating copyright (usually Alt-G on the keyboard)

  • the date (year)

  • authors name

  • authors email address

eg ... © 2002 Joe Bloggs -

Copyright / publishing font

Most fonts include both the copyright "©" symbol and registered trademark "®" symbol but NOT the symbol for Phonographic copyright.
Download a sans serif PostScript font which includes both publishing and copyright symbols ("c" and "p" on the keyboard) here ...

download iconDownload font for the Mac (16Kb Zip)

download icon Download font for the PC (16Kb Zip)

Displaying copyright on a music CD

The following should be displayed on the inlay, booklet and label ...

The P in a circle denotes a phonographic (sound) recording.

Displaying copyright in image and video files

If you are an filmmaker, illustrator or photographer who wishes to promote their images or movies by displaying low quality previews to be downloaded and/or viewed online, you can add a semi transparent visual copyright ownership message on a separate layer and then flatten the image (or merge layers).

This will deter piracy whilst conveying the essential quality of your work.

Displaying copyright on web pages

As well as embedding copyright info into the meta tags of a web page, you could display a simple copyright declaration at the foot of each page.

I usually create a <div> tag box, locate it at the foot of my page "container" <div> tag and enter something like ... "© Planet Of Tunes 2006"

READ ME files

read_me.txt text files are created to accompany project being delivered on CD and DVD ROM discs. One of the functions of a READ ME file is to display copyright information about the project. Click here for advice on copyright information in READ ME files.

QuickTime licensing stuff

Click here to go to Apple's web site where you can read Apple's rules for including QuickTime installers on CD and DVD ROMs and correctly displaying the QuickTime logos on packaging and applications.

Macromedia logo / licensing stuff

Macromedia's compulsory logo / licensing guidelines should be followed carefully. Installing Director creates a folder containing the Made With Macromedia logo with instructions for its use.