Copyright Notices on Campus Websites

Although a notice is not legally required to assert copyright on works published on and after March 1, 1989, displaying a copyright notice on websites is still a very good idea. A notice clarifies who owns the work, emphasizes that the owner asserts copyright, and encourages contact by those who wish to use the material. If any legal disputes arise, a posted notice may help defend against claims of "innocent infringement".

The Office of Technology Transfer (OTT) Copyright Matters website ( states that "All software, publications, multimedia, and other copyrighted works developed on campus and belonging to the University should bear a clear, standard copyright notice imbedded in the title page or screen or other prominent location."

Ownership of copyrighted works created at the University is determined by the 1992 Policy on Copyright Ownership (, which "provides copyright ownership to faculty for their scholarly and aesthetic copyrighted works, and … provides the University ownership of its employment-related works." (Additional clarification is included on the OTT Copyright Matters website.)

According to the U.S. Copyright Office (see Copyright Basics [PDF] (, a copyright notice should contain all of the following three elements:

  • the symbol © (the letter C in a circle), or the word "Copyright", or the abbreviation "Copr.";
  • the year of first publication of the work; and
  • the name of the owner of copyright in the work, or an abbreviation by which the name can be recognized, or a generally known alternative designation of the owner.


Use by Others:

Posting notice that material belongs to the University does not prevent others from using the material under appropriate circumstances. In some cases, permission (or "license") to use a work can be as simple as a letter or permission statement. As stated in the Campus Online Activities Policy section on Copyright (, "It is helpful for you to post permission notices for appropriate use of online works by others."


  • to clarify the conditions for further use of its online articles UC Berkeley iNews states on its Permissions page ( that:
    iNews articles may be reprinted or adapted for nonprofit purposes by universities, colleges, or K-12 schools, provided the source is accurately quoted, duly credited, and
    • for electronic publications — a link to the publication is forwarded to the iNews Editor;
    • for printed documents — a copy of the document in which the material appears is forwarded to the iNews Editor.
    In all other cases, permission is required to redistribute iNews articles either electronically, or in print.

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