All rights reserved Copyright © Time and Date AS 1995–2018. All rights reserved.
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All rights reserved Copyright © Time and Date AS 1995–2018. All rights reserved.

All rights reserved

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Not to be confused with All rights reversed .

The phrase “all rights reserved” appearing on a DVD

All rights reserved” is a copyright formality indicating that the copyright holder reserves, or holds for its own use, all the rights provided by copyright law. Originating in the Buenos Aires Convention of 1910, it no longer has any legal effect in any jurisdiction. However, it is still used by many copyright holders.


  • 1 Origins
  • 2 Obsolescence
  • 3 See also
  • 4 References

Origins[ edit ]

The phrase originated as a result of the Buenos Aires Convention of 1910. Article 3 of the Convention granted copyright in all signatory countries to a work registered in any signatory country, as long as a statement “that indicates the reservation of the property right” (emphasis added) appeared in the work. [1] The phrase “all rights reserved” was not specified in the text, but met this requirement.

Other copyright treaties did not require this formality. For example, in 1952 the Universal Copyright Convention (UCC) adopted the © symbol as an indicator of protection. [2] (The symbol was introduced in the US by a 1954 amendment to the Copyright Act of 1909 . [3] ) The Berne Convention rejected formalities altogether in Article 4 of the 1908 revision, [4] so authors seeking to protect their works in countries that had signed on to the Berne Convention were also not required to use the “all rights reserved” formulation. However, because not all Buenos Aires signatories were members of Berne or the UCC, and in particular the United States did not join UCC until 1955, a publisher in a Buenos Aires signatory seeking to protect a work in the greatest number of countries between 1910 and 1952 would have used both the phrase “all rights reserved” and the copyright symbol. [5]

Obsolescence[ edit ]

The requirement to add the “all rights reserved” notice became essentially obsolete on August 23, 2000, when Nicaragua became the final member of the Buenos Aires Convention to also become a signatory to the Berne Convention. As of that date, every country that was a member of the Buenos Aires Convention (which is the only copyright treaty requiring this notice to be used) was also a member of Berne, which requires protection be granted without any formality of notice of copyright. [6]

The phrase continues to hold popular currency and serves as a handy convention widely used by artists, writers, and content creators to prevent ambiguity and clearly spell out the warning that their content cannot be copied freely. [6]

See also[ edit ]

  • Law portal
  • Copyright formalities
  • Copyright notice
  • Creative Commons , which uses Some rights reserved
  • Public domain

References[ edit ]

Look up all rights reserved in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Copyright law .
  1. ^ Engelfriet, Arnoud (2006). “The phrase “All rights reserved” . Ius mentis. Archived from the original on 1 January 2008. Retrieved 2007-12-27.

  2. ^ “International Copyright” . U.S. Copyright Office. November 2009. Retrieved May 17, 2014.
  3. ^ Copyright Law Revision: Study 7: Notice of Copyright (PDF). Washington, D.C.: United States Government Printing Office. 1960.
  4. ^ “Copyright Registrations and Formalities” . World Intellectual Property Organization. Retrieved May 17, 2014.
  5. ^ de Boyne Pollard, Jonathan (2004). “All rights reserved.” in a copyright declaration is nearly always just chaff” . Frequently Given Answers. Archived from the original on March 20, 2005.
  6. ^ a b Schwabach, Aaron (Jan 15, 2014). Internet and the Law: Technology, Society, and Compromises . ABC-CLIO. p. 149. ISBN   9781610693509 . OCLC   879423922 . Retrieved April 23, 2015.

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      Copyright Infringement

      Copyright Law

      Word Definitions, Terminology, and Jargon

      What does "Copyright © 2013 All Rights Reserved" mean?

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      4 Answers

      Todd Gardiner

      Todd Gardiner , Through study of this topic as it relates to photography (and with a relative that specializes in copyright…

      It is informative and not much more.

      Copyright notices used to be required to claim copyright protections in the United States (and a few other locations). That was dropped to match international standards when the U.S. joined the Berne Convention.

      As for what this informative statement means:
      I, the author/creator, claim copyright protection on this work. Those protections started in 2013. No rights are extended to you through the medium you are viewing/reading the work.

      Also note, the designated authors name is supposed to be part of this notice, but is missing in this example. This aids in contacting the author for the purpose of licensing permission to use the work.

      Your feedback is private.
      Is this answer still relevant and up to date?

      Pragya Chaturvedi

      Pragya Chaturvedi , former Examiner, Copyright Office, Govt. of India (2016-2018)

      As Todd Gardiner has pointed out, it is for informative purposes only. The phrase usually goes like this “copyright, author’s name, year, all rights reserved”

      It simply serves to indicate the following information.

      • The year in which work came into existence.
      • Author’s name and details
      • The fact that all rights in the work are vested in the author and no use of the work can be made without author’s permission.

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      Steven Ernest

      Steven Ernest , Interested in creating New Myths….a writer and thinker.

      As here, I repeatedly read that the term is obsolete. However, I’ve seen it on some websites, such as The Wall Street Journal, etc. A friend of mine said newspapers will use it as their material is frequently used on other places. Any thoughts on this?

      Your feedback is private.
      Is this answer still relevant and up to date?

      Tony Vincent

      Tony Vincent

      Legally it means very little. if you create something you automatically have a copyright on it as the creator. All the warning notice does is notify people that you consider it to be copyrighted. (It is anyway, whether you notify them or not!)
      Its a bit of psychological warning to make people take notice and perhaps stop them stealing or plagiarising your work.

      Its a bit like the notice in many shops that states: We reserve the right to inspect your bags. In fact they dont, and never did have, that right in the first place. But people react as if they do.
      A nice little psychological trick.

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      Design Shack – Design Articles, Inspiration & Guides
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      The Footer Copyright Notice

      By: David Appleyard
      On: 8 Jul 2008
      Category: Articles

      The Footer Copyright Notice

      Almost all websites contain some sort of copyright notice in their footer (e.g. Copyright © 2008 Apple Inc. All rights reserved.). But what’s the best way to do this? We’re going to take you through the requirements for your copyright notice, and a nifty JS (or PHP) trick for ensuring that your copyright year is always up to date.

      What’s Required?

      The humble copyright notice is always useful to show in the footer, as a way of stating your claim over a site. Interestingly, however, it is not required for you to have copyright over the graphics, content, and artwork of your site. This comes into place as soon as you’ve created the content and placed it in the public domain. Placing a copyright notice is still advisable to deter potential plagiarists and stake your claim. The generally accepted format is:

      Copyright © 2008 Design Shack

      There are a couple of points to make:

      • Make sure that the year is current (see below)
      • Use the HTML code © to display the copyright symbol, ensuring that your site’s XHTML is valid
      • Ensure the word ‘copyright’ appears

      If you have specific requirements for how people can use certain content of your site, using a Creative Commons License would be advised. This allows you to select how content can be used in a more official and controlled manner.

      Future Proof

      When creating a website, it can be incredibly tempting to simply drop in the basic requirements, and not think too heavily about future proofing your site. One of the most telling signs that a site isn’t regularly updated is an out of date copyright year. This can be very easily made automatic, through the use of a simple piece of PHP or JS code:

      <?php echo date(“Y”); ?>

      Alternatively, if you would prefer to use JavaScript, the following works well:

      <script type=“text/javascript”>
      var d = new Date()

      Stick with one of these methods, and you’ll never be kicking yourself in February again for not updating the copyright year!

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      About the Author
      David Appleyard

      David Appleyard

      David Appleyard helps to build fun things for the design community, including Design Shack , Creative VIP , and Themelantic .