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Hi, I'm new on here and to t shirt making. I was wondering about the © logo for copyrights. Do you need to have your copyright registered to use that symbol or no? I think I read that since any finished graphic is automatically copyrighted, but I didn’t know if there were laws regarding that symbol. Thanks for your help.
 

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I know someone else answered this but I used to do copyrights for a living...yes you can use the symbol because according to U.S. law the moment you put any intellectual property (idea) into a design or writing or music or any tangible format it is automatically protected by copyright from that moment. It would be *better* to officially register a design but you don't have to. That being said the forms to properly register are free and available online. They aren't too terribly hard to fill out and the registration doesn't cost that much, in fact you can register a whole bunch of artwork/designs all at once on one form and pay one fee.
 

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The copyright symbol is used internationally. One a few countries have a process to formally register copyright.

Do remember that registering copyright and proving copyright can be two totally different things though. Just because you register a copyright in one country, it doesn't mean that a similar item doesn't already exist in another country.
 

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Do remember that registering copyright and proving copyright can be two totally different things though. Just because you register a copyright in one country, it doesn't mean that a similar item doesn't already exist in another country.
So does this also mean that because I made my registration in one country that it won't be honored in other countries? That they can just go and steal my designs and etc? Is copyright only valid in the country where registration took place?
 

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So does this also mean that because I made my registration in one country that it won't be honored in other countries? That they can just go and steal my designs and etc? Is copyright only valid in the country where registration took place?

From the US copyright office.....

Copyright and National Origin of the Work
Copyright protection is available for all unpublished works,
regardless of the nationality or domicile of the author.
Published works are eligible for copyright protection in the
United States if any one of the following conditions is met:

• On the date of first publication, one or more of the
authors is a national or domiciliary of the United States,
or is a national, domiciliary, or sovereign authority of a
treaty party,* or is a stateless person wherever that person
may be domiciled; or

• The work is first published in the United States or in a
foreign nation that, on the date of first publication, is a
treaty party. For purposes of this condition, a work that
is published in the United States or a treaty party within
30 days after publication in a foreign nation that is not a
treaty party shall be considered to be first published in the
United States or such treaty party, as the case may be; or

• The work is a sound recording that was first fixed in a
treaty party; or

• The work is a pictorial, graphic, or sculptural work that
is incorporated in a building or other structure, or an
architectural work that is embodied in a building and the
building or structure is located in the United States or a
treaty party; or

• The work is first published by the United Nations or
any of its specialized agencies, or by the Organization of
American States; or

• The work is a foreign work that was in the public domain
in the United States prior to 1996 and its copyright was
restored under the Uruguay Round Agreements Act
(URAA). See Circular 38b, Highlights of Copyright
Amendments Contained in the Uruguay Round Agreements
Act (URAA-GATT), for further information.

• The work comes within the scope of a Presidential
proclamation.
*A treaty party is a country or intergovernmental organization
other than the United States that is a party to an international
agreement.

Hope this helps.
 
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