Copyright laws protect ownership of things like music, writing, artwork, photographs, and other \"original works of authorship.\" Copyright protection is automatic and may last for over 100 years. However, not everything can be copyrighted, and some copyrights expired prior to 1976 laws. The \"circle-c\" mark has been \"optional\" since the 1970s, but is properly used with a date and identification of the author/owner. Under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, it is a federal crime to remove or alter a copyright notice when you\'re making copies, regardless of whether the copies are lawful or not.
Trademark laws protect \"words, names, symbols, sounds, or colors that distinguish goods and services from those manufactured or sold by others and to indicate the source of the goods. Trademarks, unlike patents, can be renewed forever as long as they are being used in commerce.\" Unregistered trademarks are a bit harder to enforce than registered, but last as long as they are being use