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Am I legally allowed to put the

(C) Copyright, all rights reserved

text at the bottom of my website, if I have a logo that I own but have not registered the copyright or trademark in the logo in any way?

  • 1
    "received" or "reserved"? – Jason Aller Feb 28 '18 at 20:39
  • Currently, in my development environment i have "received" – ska-dev Feb 28 '18 at 20:42
  • If there is legal difference between "received" vs "reserved", would it make sense if i just put the copyright sign (C) without the words of "received" or "reserved" after it? I've seen that used in different places online as well. So something like (c) MySampleCompany, 2018 – ska-dev Feb 28 '18 at 20:46
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    All rights "received" means you got permission from someone else to use their copyright. All right "reserved" means that you are not granting a license to people who obtain your work to redistribute it themselves. – ohwilleke Feb 28 '18 at 21:12
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Copyrights

You may use the circle c mark (c) normally with a year, the name of the author of the work and possibly the words "all right reserved" without any legal permission.

This gives you more rights legally than you would have from the copyright rights that arise automatically upon the creation of the work.

Registering the copyright with the copyright registrar simply gives you additional litigation rights and must be done before you file a lawsuit to enforce a copyright.

"All rights reserved" means you aren't granting a license to people who see the website to republish it or use it themselves.

"All rights received" would mean that you are using someone else's copyright with their permission, but would more commonly be expressed "used with permission of [name of copyright owner]."

Trademarks

A trademark arises from use in commerce that causes people to associate your mark with your goods and services. You may use the superscript letters TM to claim a common right trademark in a trademarkable item such as a logo or slogan by affixing it to the claimed mark. This is a basis to sue for trademark infringement but requires proof of many elements that can be dispensed with when the Patent and Trademark Office includes a trademark in its principal register following a formal application to them.

What you can't do.

You may not say "patent pending" if you have not applied for a patent, may not claim that something is "patented" when a patent has not been approved, and may not use the circle R mark (R) if your claimed trademark has not been including in the principle register of the Patent and Trademark Office.

(This answer is based on U.S. law, but copyright and trademark laws are quite similar on these points internationally.)

  • Does this mean that if another website uses "All rights reserved" wording and i really like their "terms of use" page (for example) I wouldn't be able to copy their TOU wording and use it in my website (I would update website reference names of course) – ska-dev Mar 1 '18 at 18:42
  • @ska-dev The question of copying and adapting a TOU or other legal or contractual language from legal documents is a complicated question in copyright law. As a matter of common practice, it is done all the time and rarely results in lawsuits (in part because the form copied is usually itself derived from something else and in part because legal terminology has utilitarian practical effects that can't be replicated with alternatives). Honestly, that probably deserves its own question and answer and the answer would be long, more complex and require lots of case law to really get right. – ohwilleke Mar 1 '18 at 18:50
  • Thank you. And yes, the terms on the website in question were adopted by Twitter and Twitter's by Flickr so i see what you mean – ska-dev Mar 1 '18 at 18:54

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