Applies to DMCA in Singapore

Copyright law (United States)

The Copyright law [ˈKɒpiɹaɪt] (English "copy right", from copy "Copy" and right “Law”) means a jurisdiction in United States law protecting intellectual property. It is similar to German copyright law, but differs in essential points. Even the approach is different: while German copyright law focuses on the author as the creator and his or her ideal relationship to the work, this emphasizes copyright the economic aspect.

In the copyright of the American legal system, in contrast to continental European copyright law, the decision-making and exploitation rights over a work are often not granted to the author (e.g. the artist), but to the economic rights exploiters, e.g. the publisher. The author then retains limited veto rights, which are intended to prevent the abuse of copyrights on the part of the rights exploiters.

Legal history

Main Products:History of Copyright

In contrast to the copyright in Germany, the copyright had to be registered explicitly in the USA until 1989 (US Copyright Act 1909, Chapter 1 Sec. 11) and expired 75 years after it was entered in the central copyright register. In the United States, new works are now protected for up to 70 years after the author's death or 95 years for companies (Copyright Term Extension Act). A registration of the copyright with the "Library of Congress" is not necessary for the acquisition of the right according to the current legal situation. B. be advantageous when claiming damages.

On October 28, 1998, the US Senate passed the highly controversial Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which aims to strengthen the rights of copyright owners. This is a reaction to the fact that the internet and other digital technologies have made it easier to reproduce and distribute works.


The copyright notice is primarily dependent on the copyright holder and only secondarily on the place and time (period / year / date). The possible spellings are:

  • Copyright © right holder, place, time (space) / date / year
  • Copyright © rights holder, time (space) / date / year
  • Copyright © rights holder

The following is to be avoided:

  • Copyright © place time (space) / date / year by rights holder
  • Copyright © time (space) / date / year by rights holder

The complement copyright before the © can be omitted, but is recommended as it makes it easier to recognize copyrights and can thus be of help to the inexperienced.

The same (see above) applies to the audio recording ℗.

Copyright notice

The Copyright notice (Copyright symbol: ©, as a makeshift also: (C) or more incorrectly: (c), (German "All rights reserved") usually followed by the rights holder and a year) or also Copyright notice originally comes from Anglo-American law. It is intended to inform the user of a work protected by copyright about the existence of copyrights. The background is the old legal position of the US-American copyright, according to which rights to a work could expire if it was not provided with a copyright notice (as in the case of the film The night of the living dead from 1968). After the USA joined the international Bern Convention for the Protection of Works of Literature and Art (RBÜ) in 1989, the copyright notice is no longer necessary today, but can be set at one's own discretion.

In German law, copyrights arise automatically when a work is created. A copyright notice is not required. The main purpose of the note is to convey the statement that someone is claiming copyrights for themselves or for others. However, the note itself does not lead to the existence of copyrights. The law alone determines whether a work is protected by copyright. For this, for example, a sufficient height of creation is necessary. The copyright notice can gain further significance because a given date may allow conclusions to be drawn about the expiry of the term of protection. However, only in a few cases is the term of protection based on the date of publication. Finally, notes can be useful in preserving evidence. Marking third-party works with your own copyright notice can constitute a copyright infringement.

℗-note for phonograms

In the case of sound carriers and films, there is often also a ℗ note - in some places also: (P) or confused: (p) - specified, e.g. B .:

  • ℗ Author, place, time (space) / date / year
  • Copyright © & ℗ Author, place, time (space) / date / year
  • Copyright © originator, place time (space) / date / year

The complement copyright before the © can also be omitted here, but is recommended as it makes it easier to recognize copyrights and can thus be of help to the inexperienced.

The P stands for phonogram (in German: “Phonogram” or “Fonogram” or “sound recording”). In some countries (not in Germany) the ℗-note is required in order to be able to assert sound carrier rights. These are so-called ancillary copyrights. It is not artistic, but rather economically expensive achievements by the sound carrier that are to be protected. Only the first recording on a phonogram is subject to protection (e.g. the master tape). Corresponding regulations can be found in German law in §§ 85 f. UrhG.

A distinction must be made between the rights of the sound carrier manufacturer and copyrights to the compositions, song texts or the graphic design of the cover. The ancillary copyright of the film manufacturer also applies to audio-visual media, in German law according to § 94 UrhG.


  • Copyright. In: Corpus Juris Secundum. A contemporary statement of American law as derived from reported cases and legislation. Vol. 2, West, St. Paul, Minn. 1936-.

Web links

 Wiktionary: © - Explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Register copyrights online with:

  • CopyClaim calculates hash value and saves time stamps,
  • Registered Commons calculates hash value, provides A-Cert timestamp in accordance with the Signature Act, offers Creative Commons license templates and perma-link to work,
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  • Law of copyright (United States)