Obtaining federal copyright protection is easy. You must simply express your work in fixed and tangible form. Since March 1, 1989, when the United States finally signed the Berne Convention, a treaty establishing international protection for copyright owners, copyright claimants need no longer include a copyright notice on copies of the work nor register the work with the Copyright Office. But it still makes sense to include the notice and to register, and it's still necessary to deposit one copy (of an unpublished work) or two copies (of a published work).
Now let's explore copyright formalities--and the consequences of ignoring them--in detail.
The copyright notice, also called the copyright legend, is extremely important even if it's no longer required. If you publish your work without it, a defendant in an infringement action can claim to be an innocent infringer who in good faith believed that a work wasn't subject to copyright.1. Innocent infringers can reduce the amount of damages they must pay to the copyright owner (see Chapter 9).____________________