This is a Citations and Case Summaries page of the
Copyright Registration and Renewal Information Chart and Web Site

Click below to go to:

Step-by-Step Chart One Page Guide Site Map + Index Copyright Statutes (texts)



02C copyright notice: copyright symbol

Where to Look in the Law

1909 Act: §18 (applies as options for classes (f) to (k) only)
1947 Act: §19 (same limited application as above)
1976 Act: §401(b)(1) (the symbol ©, word “Copyright” or abbreviation “Copr.” is mandatory)

Copyright Office Publications for Laymen

“Since audio recordings such as audio tapes and phonograph disks are ‘phonorecords’ and not ‘copies,’ the ‘C in a circle’ notice is not used to indicate protection of the underlying musical, dramatic, or literary work that is recorded.”  (Information Circular 3)

The United States is a member of the Universal Copyright Convention (the UCC), which came into force on September 16, 1955. To guarantee protection for a copyrighted work in all UCC member countries, the notice must consist of the symbol © (the word ‘Copyright’ or the abbreviation are not acceptable), the year of first publication, and the name of the copyright proprietor.  (Information Circular 3)

What the Courts Ruled


Videotronics, Inc. vs Bend Electronics

USDC, D.Nevada (4-26-1984) ¤ 586 E.Supp. 478

Videotronics’s “Keno Keypad” game was infringed, as was its “Joker Poker,” which Bend infringed as “Triple Up Poker.”  “Joker Poker” was programmed to display a random appearance of its copyright notice.  Both games had a copyright notice where the “c” was inside a hexagon rather than a circle.  The “c” inside the hexagon was determined to be an acceptable copyright symbol but the notice appearing “randomly and infrequently” was deemed as not a compliance with the law.




The Copyright Registration and Renewal Information Chart and Web Site
© 2007 David P. Hayes