I want to know what should I write in copyright part? I mean the copyright part when you right click on the executable, click properties, and click the details tab.

I was developing a little tool that parses some information from output files. It's been a year now and somehow it became something more than a simple, personal tool. We are using it for academic purposes and hopefully it's going to be cited in several academic papers.

BTW, I do not want to make it freeware. Also, I am the only developer of the software. I have used Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate that I obtained for free with the academic license provided by my university.

closed as off-topic by Jim G., gnat, GlenH7, World Engineer Jan 23 '14 at 14:11

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    This question appears to be off-topic because it is about a legal issue. – Jim G. Jan 22 '14 at 1:07
  • No it is not about that. I am not asking how can I make it look legal or can I sell it etc... I'm just giving all the information and asking how to make it look legit. – theGD Jan 22 '14 at 9:58

Copyright law varies in different jurisdictions. Not every country requires the copyright symbol that is used in the US.

But the main issue is: do you own the copyright in the first place?

You mention "my University". If you have developed this software in your role as student or member of academic staff, you need to check the policy of your University regarding copyright. Many universities claim ownership of all student and staff works. This is often enforced by the agreement that is part of the application process.

In addition, universities often have a specific form or wording to be used in the copyright notice, along with a disclaimer.

Bottom line: you need to check with your University.

But to answer your question: a copyright notice has to include the word copyright, the name of the entity, and the year the work was published.

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    The point of the university is very important and does need to be checked with the appropriate institutions policies. That "hidden" claim to ownership of all student and staff works is something that absolutely needs to be checked before claiming the copyright yourself. – user40980 Jan 21 '14 at 22:27

You are not required to put a notice on your copyrighted works, nor does your copyright diminish if you fail to put a notice on them. But a copyright notice can have benefits.

When a work is published under the authority of the copyright owner, a notice of copyright may be placed on all publicly distributed copies or phonorecords. The use of the notice is the responsibility of the copyright owner and does not require permission from, or registration with, the Copyright Office.

Use of the notice informs the public that a work is protected by copyright, identifies the copyright owner, and shows the year of first publication. Furthermore, in the event that a work is infringed, if the work carries a proper notice, the court will not give any weight to a defendant’s use of an innocent infringement defense—that is, to a claim that the defendant did not realize that the work was protected. An innocent infringement defense can result in a reduction in damages that the copyright owner would otherwise receive.

For works first published on or after March 1, 1989, use of the copyright notice is optional.


The copyright notice should contain:

  1. The symbol © (letter C in a circle); the word “Copyright”; or the abbreviation “Copr.”

  2. The year of first publication.

  3. The name of the copyright owner, an abbreviation by which the name can be recognized, or a generally known alternative designation of owner.

Example: © 2012 Jane Doe

  • Note that in this case, the copyright notice is synthesized from several fields in the executable metadata. You don't want to end with "Copyright: Copyright Jane Doe 2012, Released: 2012-01-26" – MSalters Jan 22 '14 at 12:10

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