What does All Rights Reserved mean?
Why do you use the all rights reserved text?
What should you know about it?
Keep reading as we have gathered exactly the information that you need!
Let’s dig into our copyright law and knowledge about “all rights reserved”!
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Table of Contents
What Does All Rights Reserved Mean
Individuals and businesses use the “all rights reserved” phrase to protect their work and creations, such as books, magazines, website content, photos, videos, music, or others.
The objective behind all right reserved is to provide copyright protection for original works.
In the United States, you have different ways you can protect your copyrights and original work.
One way is to file for a copyright registration under the copyright laws with the United States Copyright Office to prove that you are the owner of the work.
Another, cheaper and faster approach to proving you own the copyright, is to put a copyright notice on your work.
You may see all the rights reserved statements like this:
- All copyrights reserved
- Rights reserved
- Copyrights reserved
- © Copyright. All Rights Reserved
By putting a “copyrights, all rights reserved” notice or something similar, you effectively inform the world that you own the copyrights on the work and hope to dissuade others from copying your work (or infringing your copyrights).
To better understand copyrights and how to protect your copyrights, let’s look at when you should use all rights reserved on your work, book, website, or other original content.
The phrase all rights reserved originates from the 1910 Buenos Aires Copyright Convention a treaty between the United States and most of the South and Middle American countries.
Article 3 of the 1910 Buenos Aires Convention required the following:
The acknowledgement of a copyright obtained in one State, in conformity with its laws, shall produce its effects of full right, in all the other States, without the necessity of complying with any other formality, provided always there shall appear in the work a statement that indicates the reservation of the property right.
Today, this requirement is now obsolete nor is something similar required under the US copyright laws.
When To Use All Rights Reserved
When should you use all rights reserved?
Well, the fact is that when you create original content, you automatically benefit from copyrights.
Essentially, your original creative work is copyrighted when you create it by operation of the law.
In this regard, you don’t have to put a copyright notice to signal to the world that you own the work.
However, although you know that you own your copyright, how do you prove that it’s yours?
That’s when we run into challenges.
Proving that some work is yours is not the same thing as having copyrighted work.
To “protect” your copyrighted work, you can use a copyright notice (where the reserved rights text is part of the notice) to signal to the world that you own the copyrights on the work or you can formally register your work with the Copyright Office.
In many cases, authors and original work creators may opt for both copyrighting their work and putting a copyright notice.
Then, if someone infringes on your work, you can use both the copyright registration and copyright notice to prove that the work belongs to you and is protected.
In a nutshell, use the all rights reserved notice to protect your creative work.
Benefits of Copyright Notices
What are the advantages of putting an all right reserved copyright notice on your work?
The main advantage of putting a copyright notice on your work is to be able to “prove” that you are the copyright owner.
When you write a book, create music, make photography, or create films, you are automatically the owner of the copyright.
Knowing that you are the owner is not necessarily helpful if you want to prove that you are the owner should someone infringe on your copyrightable work.
If you need to file a lawsuit against someone to have them stop infringing your work or seek damages, you must be able to prove that you are the owner of the copyright (that’s the foundation of your case).
One way you can prove ownership is to register your copyrightable work with the US Copyright Office.
Clearly, when your work is registered, the court will consider that the work is yours (and you’ll satisfy your burden of proof).
Another way to help prove that you owned the work is that you publish your work with a copyright notice where you notify others that this work is your original content.
Although the statement “all rights reserved” is not mandatory to be found in your copyright notice, putting it in can surely help.
How To Write All Rights Reserved
How you do write a statement relating to the work you want to protect?
If you want to protect all your work, you should write statements such as:
- © Year, Your Name
- Copyright, Year, Your Name
- © Copyright, All Rights Reserved
- © All Rights Reserved
If you write the © symbol, followed by the year your work was created, the name of the creator, and the phrase “all rights reserved”, you’ll have a nice and effective copyright notice.
In some cases you may want to protect parts of your work, that’s when you may use some rights reserved.
However, this may not be very useful if it’s not clear what work is actually protected and what is not.
If you do not want to protect anything in your work and want to be clear about it, you can state something like no rights reserved where you allow others from using your work.
Copyright Protection Duration
For how long are you protected with an all rights reserved notice?
Although you should consult an attorney or professional to guide you with regards to your work, according to the US Copyright Office, if the work was created after January 1, 1978, your copyright protection lasts for your entire life (author’s life) plus an additional 70 years.
For an anonymous work, a pseudonymous work, or a work made for hire, the copyright endures for a term of 95 years from the year of its first publication or a term of 120 years from the year of its creation, whichever expires first.
This means that by creating copyrightable work, you know that you have legal protection for your entire life and another 70 years.
As a result, it’s best practice to put your copyright notice on all your work to ensure that you protect it as much as you can.
All Rights Reserved Example
The better understand the meaning of all rights reserved, it may be useful to look at an example.
All rights reserved is a statement used by copyright owners to protect their work from possible infringement (although it’s not a guarantee that someone will not infringe your work).
Here is what the United States Counsel for International Business puts as a copyright notice on their website:
Copyright and Trademark Notice
All Contents Copyright 1996-2019 United States Council for International Business. All Rights Reserved.
The contents of all material available on this Internet site are copyrighted by the United States Council for International Business unless otherwise indicated. Copyright is not claimed as to any part of an original work prepared by a U.S. or state government officer or employee as part of that person’s official duties. All rights are reserved by USCIB, and content may not be reproduced, downloaded, disseminated, published, or transferred in any form or by any means, except with the prior written permission of USCIB, or as indicated below. Members of USCIB may download pages or other content for their own use, consistent with the mission and purpose of USCIB (as codified in its governing documents) on a single computer. However, no part of such content may be otherwise or subsequently reproduced, downloaded, disseminated, published, or transferred, in any form or by any means, except with the prior written permission of, and with express attribution to USCIB. Copyright infringement is a violation of federal law subject to criminal and civil penalties. “USCIB” and “UNITED STATES COUNCIL FOR INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS” are (registered) service marks of the United States Council for International Business.
All Right Reserved Takeaways
So, there you have it folks.
What does all rights reserved mean?
Why do you need to reserve your rights?
When to use all rights reserved?
Essentially, if you are the author of original content or work, under US laws, you are automatically protected under copyright laws.
However, if you need to invoke your rights in court, you’ll need to be able to prove that the copyrighted work is yours.
You prove that you are the author of the copyrighted work, image, video, film, software, or anything that was created by either registering your copyright or putting a copyright notice on it (or both).
The copyright notice usually will have the copyright symbol “©”, accompanied by the year of the creation, the name of the author, and a right statement.
The right statement that is commonly used on books, websites, documents, or other material is the all rights reserved statement.
Hopefully, you can now make good use of this statement to protect your work from infringement.
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