A copyright is obtained simply by creating the work. It comes into existence automatically on the dated it is created. However, in order to get federal protection of a copyright, the creator of the work has to file the appropriate form with the Copyright Office in Washington, D.C. Forms for filing for a copyright with the U.S. Copyright Office can be found at http://www.copyright.gov/forms.
A copyright notice should be affixed in such a manner and location as to give reasonable notice of the claim of copyright. This form is a sample of such a notice. Use of the notice may be important because it informs the public that the work is protected by copyright, identifies the copyright owner, and shows the year of first publication.