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I am aware that being the author of a work entitles you automatically to its copyright however, is it illegal to use the copyright sign and claim the copyright openly without registering it?

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In many jurisdictions (and I say "many" to hedge my statement; there's an off-chance that one of the hundreds of jurisdictions around the world has some unusual implementation of copyright law) you don't need to register the copyright symbol at all in order to use it, nor does omitting it from a work diminish your rights.

Notably, many countries are signatories to the Berne Convention, which establishes copyright at the time a work is "fixed", and requires all signatories to recognise copyright held by citizens of other signatories.

  • What would be an example of differentiating jurisdictions? – Xavier Cheyne May 22 '17 at 21:55
  • There's a good summary table here, but saying "many" was mainly a way of hedging my statement as I'm not familiar with the hundreds of jurisdictions around the world. – jimsug May 22 '17 at 21:58

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