To space, or not to space, that is the question:

Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to place the copyright statement in the footer of an application, or somewhere else, is beside the point. What I want to know is: regardless of where one places it, is there a best practice, convention, or standard that states whether or not one should put a space between the copyright symbol © and the year?

Example with space

© 2014 Some Company, Inc.

Example without space

©2014 Some Company, Inc.

I'm not looking for opinions, but I figured I'd give mine. My personal opinion is that my eye is immediately drawn to the "with space" option as a cleaner solution; the "without space" option somehow just doesn't look right to me.

  • I'm not sure this is a UX question. Maybe better asked on GD. That said, the symbol is the replacement for the word, and you'd certainly have a space after the word so...yes, space.
    – DA01
    Jan 23, 2014 at 22:19
  • Awesome how these kind of questions govern our days as UI/UX people. Love this gig.
    – Dirk v B
    Jan 23, 2014 at 23:17
  • 1
    Just when you think about first-world-problems, this has GOT to be at the top. Take that bit however you want, the "love this gig" was genuine :]
    – Dirk v B
    Jan 24, 2014 at 0:08
  • 1
    @DirkvB - Yea, we could be here all day with first world problem talk. This was actually a question debated at my work today. LoL. That's why I posted it. Jan 24, 2014 at 4:39
  • 3
    This question appears to be off-topic because it is about type setting, not UX. Type setting can be argued to have an influence on UX, but IMHO, that does not justify the question here.
    – André
    Jan 24, 2014 at 13:23

2 Answers 2


A poke around Google suggests that most guides on usage of the symbol agree with your intuition. This article emphasizes that you should use a non-breaking space to avoid the symbol and the copyright holder being on two different lines or pages. Their reasoning is as follows:

Must you put a space af­ter the copy­right sym­bol? No, but se­man­ti­cal­ly, it makes good sense. The © di­rect­ly re­places the word copyright, so it should be spaced like any oth­er word.

  • 3
    When you think of it in terms of replacing the word, copyright, it just makes sense. Jan 23, 2014 at 20:27

I've never seen the sign without a space after it, but anyway, in the chapter on copyrights, the Oxford Guide to Style has a space after the symbol.

It is perhaps worth mentioning that the symbol is not a requirement, nor does it have any legal significance. Legacy has it that it is used to denote a copyrighted material.

  • The rule I've always used was Copyright or © but not both. Jan 23, 2014 at 22:54
  • The symbol does have some minimal importance in the US w.r.t. the innocent infringement defense, which is a very formal way of saying "oops, sorry, I didn't know that was copyrighted." If there's a copyright symbol or the word "Copyright," the defense is (probably, IANAL) invalid.
    – Kevin
    Nov 9, 2015 at 21:52
  • @Kevin Despite the wikipedia article, I'm next to sure this is no longer the case. See "LIMITED RIGHTS AND CLEAR NOTICE NO LONGER HELP USERS AVOID INFRINGING" in law.uci.edu/faculty/full-time/reese/…
    – Izhaki
    Nov 10, 2015 at 1:41
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    Irrelevant. Given the low cost of including the symbol, no lawyer in their right mind will leave it out if there's even the smallest chance it could help. It certainly doesn't hurt.
    – Kevin
    Nov 10, 2015 at 1:44

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