| 12:41 pm on Jun 21, 2006 (gmt 0)|
What I do is to use (C) 2001-2006 MyCompanyName. I change this every year.
| 1:04 pm on Jun 21, 2006 (gmt 0)|
I do it partly like BDW, and partly I only use the most recent year.
I don't know the intention of your question. If you think it has an SEO impact, then I assume its a very, very tiny one. From the visitors perspective I would be reluctant to only post the starting year (e.g. (C) 1998) as it may be mistaken for a "last updated" item.
| 5:18 pm on Jun 21, 2006 (gmt 0)|
does it have an SEO impact?
| 5:25 pm on Jun 21, 2006 (gmt 0)|
Not at all.
It should be accurate; if the site has not updated, then it should say (c)1998. If the site is all new, (c)2006 is fine. If some is new, some 'original', then (c)1998 - 2006 is the way to go.
Most sites should be showing a range of dates.
| 5:47 pm on Jun 21, 2006 (gmt 0)|
|It should be accurate; if the site has not updated, then it should say (c)1998. If the site is all new, (c)2006 is fine. If some is new, some 'original', then (c)1998 - 2006 is the way to go. |
You need to use the "C in a circle" symbol (not a C in parentheses - use the "©" HTML element) or "Copyright" or "Copr." followed by the first year of publication (not a range) followed by the name of the copyright owner.
IANAL, but I consider a frequently updated web site to be published every year, so I always use the current year.
| 6:02 pm on Jun 21, 2006 (gmt 0)|
Well, yes and no.
You are, of course quite right about the "C in a circle" symbol (not a C in parentheses - use the "©" HTML element) or "Copyright" or "Copr." - but we cannot easily do that in this forum.
But you are not quite right about the dates.
A specific document should have the 'date of first publication' - but a web site containing more than one item can (and probably should) display a range of dates.
So, to be quite correct, the site's index page, and possibly a 'general' footer, should display the range, PLUS each individal article / item should display its year of first publication.
It is never correct just to use the current year - but I know what you mean ;)
| 6:32 pm on Jun 21, 2006 (gmt 0)|
A range of dates ("Copyright 1999-2005") is not allowed in a valid copyright statement. But each page, if considered a separate publication, could have a different copyright year. I consider my entire site a collection, so it has one copyright date - the same on all pages - even though specific sections of the site (such as material submitted by others) are covered by other copyrights.
As far as Google goes, I don't have any good evidence, but I doubt the date on a page makes much, if any difference. Google looks at the entire text of the page and knows how it has changed over time and, I hope, also knows if it should change over time (some subjects don't require updating).
But I think it looks better to your site's visitors if your copyright date is recent.
| 7:12 pm on Jun 21, 2006 (gmt 0)|
The letter c within parens in not elegant but functionally in the U.S. it will still serve to constitute a claim of copyright. But I agree the copyright symbol is preferable and should be used. The word "copyright" is another acceptable option.
If you have a page that you put up in 1998 and revised significantly in 2006, I would prefer copyright 1998, 2006 (or 1998-2006 if changes were made over several years) to simply updating the copyright to 2006. First, if you claimed copyright in 1998 that copyright has not expired on that work. Second, if someone copied your work in 2000 the early copyright notice supports a claim of precedence.
| 7:44 pm on Jun 21, 2006 (gmt 0)|
|As far as Google goes, I don't have any good evidence, but I doubt the date on a page makes much, if any difference. |
Probably no difference at all, but the way Google's DC caches are going at the moment, at least you can prove you're the copyright holder of something you wrote in 2005 ;)
| 8:34 pm on Jun 21, 2006 (gmt 0)|
Why would Google take any notice? It's unverifiable, and is largely fiction. They have no reason to be concerned unless there's a search for 'copyright' or '1998' etc.
| 10:00 pm on Jun 21, 2006 (gmt 0)|
Before geting too worked out about what date to use, etc., keep in mind that there is no legal requirement to display a copyright notice.
But while you won't lose your rights as a result of making the "wrong" choice as to what year to put on such a notice, there is a reason to use the earliest year in which the work was displayed. The primary benefit to displaying a copyright notice is that if it is present where infringment (in words taken from the copyright.gov page referenced below) "no weight shall be given to such a defendant's interposition of a defense based on innocent infringement in mitigation of actual or statutory damages."
If you put a page up five years ago, and it was copied last year, but your notice says "copyright this year"... would that hold up?
The use of a copyright notice is no longer required under U. S. law, although it is often beneficial. Because prior law did contain such a requirement, however, the use of notice is still relevant to the copyright status of older works.
Notice was required under the 1976 Copyright Act. This requirement was eliminated when the United States adhered to the Berne Convention, effective March 1, 1989.
[edited by: JayC at 10:06 pm (utc) on June 21, 2006]
| 10:03 pm on Jun 21, 2006 (gmt 0)|
Thank you all for the awesome discussion, it really helps.
I also use the Meta, does this Meta help at all in any SEO?
<META NAME="COPYRIGHT" CONTENT="Copyright (c) 2004 by Company Name">
| 10:07 pm on Jun 21, 2006 (gmt 0)|
>> does this Meta help at all in any SEO?
| 10:20 pm on Jun 21, 2006 (gmt 0)|
|If you put a page up five years ago, and it was copied last year, but your notice says "copyright this year"... would that hold up? |
You'd look a bit silly in court,and could conceivably lose, if you kept poor records, archive.org missed your page, and you have no copy of the original-dated file.
Exactly why, if you choose to declare copyright, you should do it properly. And why you should keep dated evidence of ownership.
In practice, copyright thieves are usually so frighteningly stupid (one even displayed my copyright notice), that getting their site removed often just takes an email or two supported by a faxed statement of ownership. But if your creation is your livelihood, take care.
| 8:06 pm on Jun 22, 2006 (gmt 0)|
|The letter c within parens in not elegant but functionally in the U.S. it will still serve to constitute a claim of copyright. |
No. A "C" in parentheses is not valid in a notice of copyright. Either the proper symbol, the word "Copyright" or the abbreviation "Copr." must be used.
| 11:25 pm on Jun 22, 2006 (gmt 0)|
Your link is to the guidelines for a copyright notice. Personally, I would follow them. But you are wrong that a claim of copyright that does not follow the guidelines is invalid. Claim of copyright and copyright guidelines are not the same thing. In the U.S. any claim of copyright in any form will help, as it will serve to document a claim. No copyright notice at all is required for copyright to be valid.
| 2:44 pm on Jun 23, 2006 (gmt 0)|
|But you are wrong that a claim of copyright that does not follow the guidelines is invalid. |
They aren't guidelines. The Library of Congress circular quoted directly from the US copyright law.
And I was talking about a proper "Notice of Copyright" not a "claim of copyright." Using a "C" in parenthesis is the essentially the same as saying "Copywrite #*$!x" or "My dog is blue." It doesn't mean anything in the context of a notice of copyright.
An invalid copyright notice doesn't affect your copyright on the material since a notice is no longer required to secure a copyright. But an invalid copyright notice may make it harder to prove "willfill infringment" of your copyright.
Anyway, I don't think any of this matters to Google, so I won't continue debating it here.
| 2:59 pm on Jun 23, 2006 (gmt 0)|
It doesn't matter to Google. I do agree with you that a "c in a circle" is proper notice under the law whereas a "c in parenthesis" is not.
At the same time, recall that there was an extended period where online materials were primarily in ascii and many major publishers and a considerable amount of software used a "c in parenthesis" as a copyright notice. I am not aware of any case in which a court has held that a "c in parenthesis" was not an adequate representation of a "c in a circle". An important caveat to that, of course, is that it is now easy to use a proper symbol and one should not assume that the lack of a prior court ruling would suggest what a future court may hold.