|Author: ||Alasdair Taylor |
|Updated: ||14 June 2023 |
|Length: ||2 pages |
|Notes: ||3 pages |
|Format: ||MS Word (.DOCX) |
"Copyright notice" has two different meanings. The phrase may refer to a short statement asserting the ownership of copyright in a work, or it may refer to a text setting out various copyright-related matters in relation to a work. The second type of copyright notice may, and very often will, contain the first type of copyright notice.
This template is a copyright notice - or, to be more accurate, a tool for the creation of a copyright notice - in the second sense. More specifically, it has been designed to assist with the creation of a copyright notice for a website.
Websites are not in themselves copyright works. That is to say that the categories of work that are protected by copyright are closed, and they do not include websites. However, a typical website will incorporate a range of different copyright-protected works. Indeed, almost anything that can be said to be part of a website can be protected by copyright.
Any software code used by or forming part of a website will be protected as a literary work. CSS and HTML files comprised in the website, whether written by hand or generated by software, may also be protected as literary works, provided that they are sufficiently "original". Logos, illustrations and photographs published on a website will also usually be protected as artistic works. Video and audio files on a website may contain layer upon layer of rights, whilst even plain text will be protected as literary copyright, assuming that it can surmount (the low) threshold test for originality and that there is sufficient novel text to merit protection.
This means that a website may contain many works protected by copyright, and the copyright may be owned by many separate persons. This copyright notice gets round this complexity by simply referring to "the website operator and its licensors".
A short (first sense) copyright notice is contained in the document is in the form approved by the Universal Copyright Convention (the "UCC"), eg "Copyright (c) 2023 Docular Limited". Elaborating on the UCC-style statement, the notice expressly provides that all copyright and other intellectual property rights in the website are owned by and reserved to the operator and its licensors.
Next, the copyright notice includes a licence setting out the basis upon which the website may be used. In addition, there are negative provisions specifying what users may not do in relation to the website (eg republish material from the website). A short-form acceptable use clause covers usage issues that are not, at least directly, copyright issues.
The remaining provisions of the notice relate to the reporting of copyright infringements and other abuses to the website operator, the enforcement of copyright by the website operator, and the method for seeking permission from the operator to reuse website materials.
Most of the provisions of the copyright notice are reproduced in our various website T&Cs templates, and if you are using one of those documents you will not usually need a separate copyright notice.