Can I Use The ©️ Without Registering?

Woman sitting with laptop with text overlay "Can I Use The ©️ Without Registering?"

Ever wonder whether you can use those ™️ © ®️ symbols in your business or whether you have to register something first?!

Well this week we’re answering Henri’s question all about ’em!

Let’s jump into our Legal Q&A Sesh in this week’s Sam’s Sidebar! 👇

The Question // Henri asked,

 Do you have to have something registered with the US Copyright Office to use that delightful ©?

The Answer //

No! Wait – does that qualify as the shortest lawyer ever to a question, ever?

I think it might.

You can use the ©️ symbol with or without having registered the content it’s on with the United States Copyright Office.

BUT — and this is a big one 🙂

Just slapping the ©️ on your content/docs isn’t the same as actually registering your content.

You get additional protection from registering your content, course materials (videos, PDFs, audio lessons, etc), etc. than you do if you simply put the ©️ on your stuff without registering. (I go into this in way more detail in this episode)

I’ve got another “but” if you’re willing to hear me out!

But it’s also not practical to register every single piece of content in your business. So what do you do in those cases?

Use my copyright formula™️:

©️ [year of publication] [your name/business name]

So if I created a freebie today, I’d put:

©️ 2022 Sam Vander Wielen LLC

on the bottom of every single page.

It’s a great way to put people on notice that you’ve created something, you’re claiming ownership to it, and you’re declaring a date stamp (so they can’t say they wrote it first 4 years from now).

There are so many things you can & can’t do with all the intellectual property symbols (®️ ™️ ©️) — which is why I created this podcast episode for you all about what they each mean, how you can use them & what they do and don’t protect for you.

🎙 You can listen here.

It’s also why I teach about the symbols in the Ultimate Bundle, and teach all of our members how to legally protect their content, how to use other people’s content safely, and when it’s the right time to register your trademarks and copyrights.

If you’re ready to legally legitimize your business, you need the Ultimate Bundle™️It gives you all the legal contracts & policies you need, plus access to me in our Private Community for support, and loads of video trainings on every question you’ve ever worried about (like what to do if someone doesn’t pay you, whether you can work with minors, what to do if someone steals your content, how to form an LLC, how to get biz insurance & so much more).

Learn more about the Ultimate Bundle here, and email me “I want the Bundle” and I’ll send you a link for $400 off, plus 3 free extra legal templates.

Hope this was helpful! Off to see if you’ve replied yet to let me know 🙂



PS: Don’t know what to write to your email list? Sick of getting no replies, clicks or customers? I’m here to help! This week’s episode breaks down my email list strategy for an engaged community, Epi 67 here.

PPS. Prefer to read instead of listen to how to legally protect your biz?

Here are 10 online business legal myths bustedwhat to do when a client doesn’t pay, and how to find an accountant for your online business.

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