I've seen in many websites that these exists a part called "footer" at bottom of the page and there's a sentence written on it.

All rights reserved.

I know what it means. But everytime i read that, i have a feeling like this : "Who reserved it?" and i always had doubt about this sentence :

All rights reserved by company X.

Is this one wrong ? If yes, why? If no, why i see the first sentence everywhere?

  • I used to think about this sentence. I would think we can say something like "All rights have been reserved for the company X" I am not sure
    – Cardinal
    Commented Jul 23, 2016 at 13:02
  • @Cardinal yeah that's a good question too ! Commented Jul 23, 2016 at 13:03

1 Answer 1


All rights reserved means all rights are reserved by whatever entity owns those rights.

In many cases a publication may involve many different rights which are not all owned by the same entity. The publisher may have some rights, the author have others, the artists or photographers who supplied illustrations have yet others—on a website even the coders and the software publishers may have rights which they need to protect. And those rights are transferable—any of those parties may have sold or licensed their rights to somebody else.

So all rights reserved is basically a general admonition "Don't steal anything you find here".

  • Thank you :) do you have any idea about "All rights reserved for someone"? Commented Jul 23, 2016 at 13:15
  • @ArmanMalekzade That's grammatical, but very unlikely: it implies that the rightholder is reserving the rights for the benefit of somebody else. Commented Jul 23, 2016 at 13:18
  • In OP's context I don't like for at all, but I think I'd prefer All rights reserved to the company over the by version. Pragmatically we can usually assume the company was both the agent and the beneficiary, so one preposition implies the other. But both those implications are normally present even if "the company" is never explicitly stated anyway. Commented Jul 23, 2016 at 15:03

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