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Content, Writing and Copyright Forum

Copyright Date at the Bottom of the Webpage
Should it change?

 11:21 am on Feb 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

Hey all,

Most websites have tiny text at the bottom of each page on their website. It is a year date with the copywright symbol. My questions are: Should this year date be the actual year (Copywright 2008) or the year the website was created (Copywright 2005).

Is it better/less hassle to specify a period of time e.g., Copywright 2005-2015?

Thanks for explaining me through this.



 12:24 pm on Feb 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

a recent WebmasterWorld thread about updating copyright notices [webmasterworld.com]...


 2:19 am on Mar 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

I'd start by spelling it "Copyright". ;)


 2:29 am on Mar 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

I update copyright notices that apply to the whole site. I don't update the notices on individual articles unless I actually update them.


 11:41 am on Mar 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

I used to be an editor at Unisys and their style guide required all content to be tagged as per the following example:

Copyright 1996-2008 Example Corporation. All rights reserved.

All those words were required. You could not drop any of them or use substitutes such as (c). I assume they paid copyright lawyers for that advice as I recall a lot of verbiage explaining why each word was necessary.

(I also had to make an entry in a company register every time such an assertion was made - it applied to software code as well as documents and website pages. I had to note the names of authors, programmers, including contractors.)

I don't think that other thread shows corporate usage correctly. The word "Copyright" always precedes the symbol on the sites of major companies.

That doesn't mean that everyone in the company uses one style. :) e.g.

Copyright 2008 Microsoft Corporation. Release: Thursday, February 7, 2008.

Copyright 2006 by Microsoft Press Deutschland

Copyright 2008 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

Copyright 2008 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

The Windows Server 2008 copyright statement [technet2.microsoft.com] is a treasure trove of variations, all on one page! Goes to show that publication these days is available to so many people in a large company that no editor could possibly get in the way and survive. :)


 8:37 pm on Mar 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

A glance at the the U.S. copyright pages informs us that the many forms used by Microsoft, as shown above, are all valid copyright notices. The basic form, as indicated by the copyright office, includes all three of the following:

1. The copyright symbol, OR the word Copyright, OR the abbreviation Copr.
2. The year of first publication
3. The name of the owner, or an abbreviation or "alternative designation" of the owner.

In short, you don't need the word copyright AND the copyright symbol. You don't need multiple years. You don't need to include "all rights reserved." Note that these things are not disallowed; but they're not required as part of a legally valid copyright notice.


 10:09 pm on Mar 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

A more recent copyright date will make your pages seem current.

An old copyright date will make your pages seem outdated, IMHO.


 6:12 pm on Mar 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

The date can be the current year... Not just the date of copyright.

Are you actually going to copyright the website legally? The year really signifies that last known date of copyrighting. This is because after I think 75 years a copyright becomes invalid and become public domain.


 12:07 pm on Mar 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

The 75 years is from when the author/writer dies i believe.

So if someone wrote a story in 1995, 1998 or 1956, and he snuffed it in 2020, then the copyright will be still valid to 2095.



 2:55 pm on Mar 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

It's actually a little more complicated than that. In the US, at least, published and unpublished works are treated separately.

See this useful table:



 3:03 am on Mar 22, 2008 (gmt 0)

But what is the purpose of all the copyright stuff at the end of the page if all works are by default copyrighted?


 6:51 pm on Mar 22, 2008 (gmt 0)

>> But what is the purpose of all the copyright stuff at the end of the page if all works are by default copyrighted?

Because not alot of people know that. If people see no copyright on there, they automatically assume its not copyrighted.



 6:36 pm on Mar 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

I have read that the copyright symbol is not recognised worldwide where as the word Copyright is.

Personally I tend to use ' Copyright 2005 Company Name'. I sometimes follow the published date with the current year purely to keep the content looking fresh.

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