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How to Type the Copyright Symbol in Photoshop CS4

written by: Brian Nelson•edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 11/30/2010

The familiar 'c' inside of a circle is internationally recognized as the copyright symbol. Including it on your original artistic works can be useful in many cases. However, typing the copyright symbol in Photoshop CS4 is not as straightforward as it might seem.

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    Purpose of the Copyright Symbol

    Knowing how to copyright a photograph or other artistic work that has been edited or created in Photoshop is important for any artist.

    Fortunately, all original works of art are copyrighted from inception. Prior to 1989, a copyright notice was required on all published works of art in order to claim copyright, however, that requirement no longer exists. However, there are still benefits to publishing a copyright notification with your original works.

    copyright symbol A properly published copyright notice is important because it informs those viewing the work that it is protected by copyright. It also informs viewers who the copyright owner is, which can be useful when someone wishes to purchase some form of rights to republish your work. Most importantly, if a copyright is ever infringed, a proper copyright notice eliminates the ability of a defendant to claim an "innocent infringement" of the work. Damages for willful infringement are much higher, and thus eliminating the claim that infringement was not innocent makes it both more likely that a defendant might settle for a larger amount, and makes it more worthwhile for the artist to fully litigate the matter.

    The notice for all "visually perceptible copies" of a work requires three elements. These elements include the name of the copyright holder, the year of first publication of the work, and the copyright symbol, which is the letter C inside of a circle.

    In other words, to attach a proper copyright notice, you need to know how to type the copyright symbol in Photoshop CS4.

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    Insert Copyright Symbol in Photoshop CS4

    There are a many ways to include a copyright symbol in Photoshop CS4. Among the most useful is to use the Characters and Symbols menu to directly insert the C in a circle copyright symbol. To do so, place the cursor where you want the copyright sign to appear. Then, select Insert -> Characters and Symbols menu item. In the dialog box that appears, choose "Common Symbols." Click on the box labeled Characters and then select the copyright symbol from the drop down menu. Next, click the Insert button and close the dialog box.

    Another useful method for inserting the copyright symbol in Photoshop CS4 is to simply paste an image of the symbol as a graphic. This has the advantage of being re-sizable for different purposes. For example, a larger symbol could be included on publication samples or other occasions. Conversely, a small unobtrusive symbol can be included for final, paid works or other scenarios where a small copyright notice is preferable.

    Finally, some Photoshop users prefer to use a brush with the copyright symbol. Doing so allows users to include their copyright notice symbols using one of the most familiar tools in Photoshop, along with all of the optional settings and features that normally apply to brushes. However, avoid getting too clever. A blurry or overly transparent copyright symbol may be considered improper notice.

    For additional information on when to include a copyright notice, visit the U.S. Copyright Office website at