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What is the origin of the copyright symbol?

The copyright symbol, designated by © (a circled “C”), is the symbol used in copyright notices for works other than sound recordings (which are indicated with the ℗ symbol). The use of the symbol is described in United States copyright law, and, internationally, by the Universal Copyright Convention. The C stands for copyright.

In the United States, the copyright notice consists of:

• The © symbol, or the word “Copyright” or abbreviation “Copr.”;
• The year of first publication of the copyrighted work; and
• An identification of the owner of the copyright, either by name, abbreviation, or other designation by which it is generally known.
• The notice was once required in order to receive copyright protection in the United States, but in countries respecting the Berne convention this is no longer the case.

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