A copyright notice should be placed on all original works of authorship regardless of whether you have actually filed for a copyright registration. The copyright notice puts the public on notice that the work is protected by copyright, identifies the owner and shows the year of first publication.
Use of the copyright notice is optional; however, a court will not give any weight to a defense of innocent infringement for a work containing a proper copyright notice. The following is a proper copyright notice:
C 2008 Kathryn Strong
IP IN THE NEWS:
SMALL COMPANIES MAKE BIG PROFITS THROUGH LICENSING
The T-shirt maker, C-Life Group Ltd. figured out a way to increase their profits from $10 million a year to an expected $100 million a year. Their secret? Licensing famous characters such as Spider-Man, Betty Boop and G.I. Joe and putting them on its T-shirts. It is fair to say that C-Life's success in the T-shirt business is almost solely due to the brands and properties they have licensed.
Many other small businesses have also picked up on the trend and now license many things such as cartoon characters and celebrity names. Small businesses that align themselves with big name products and people are able to get more exposure than they would have been able to get on their own.