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So to be on the safe side, I keep my copyright date "fresh."
it was a good time to redo the site as well thus a full maintance was done I am glad I did found some bad links to our secure page were I had moved it from under the domain name to a subdomain name..
I can't imagine why so many otherwise good sites display ancient copyright dates. (and yes I know all about the law on the subject).
If a commerce site says "copyright 2002" I pass on it. Clue that maybe they're out of business.
"© 1996-2008, Amazon.com"
"© 2007 Wal-Mart Stores, Inc"
"© 2003-2007 Best Buy. All rights reserved. Best Buy, BestBuy.com and the tag design are trademarks of Best Buy. For personal, noncommercial use only."
"© 2008 Target.com. All rights reserved.
The Bullseye Design and Bullseye Dog are trademarks of Target Brands, Inc"
"© 2007 Sears Brand, LLC."
"© 1998-2008 Costco Wholesale Corporation. All rights reserved."
"© 2000-2008 Newegg Inc. All rights reserved."
"© 2008 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved"
"© Playboy.com All rights reserved"
"© 2001-2008 MLB Advanced Media, L.P. All rights reserved" [major league baseball]
"© 2008 ASCAP"
Last three were added as sites having special copyright interests and experience.
I think the date range method is mostly a marketing gimmick to show when you started on the web. You don't need a date at all as Playboy demonstrates: "© Playboy.com All rights reserved"
"All rights reserved" probably adds nothing. Maybe an international copyright suit in BongoBongo Land in 1907 hinged on that. So a few ultra prudent (and fee hungry) lawyers add it.
Lots of material on copyright law on WebmasterWorld and elsewhere which you could refer to, especially if you're thinking of going to court.
I just learned how to have the dates update automatically in PHP, so I'll be putting it onto all sites as I work on them.
If someone steals content from your website in 2006 and you update your copyright notice every year what do you think people will believe to be the "original"? The one with the older date of course. If someone comes along claiming your content to be his own - all he has to do is point to your copyright notice clearly stating your content was created in 2008 when he has a date of 2006 or 2007 on his own website.
And using a single copyright date for all pages on a website makes no sense at all. Then better include a copyright notice without a date.
Of course people might think your site is outdated if you have an old copyright date on your website but the solution to this problem is to update your website reguarly and create new content not to "forge" the copyright date on the bottom of your website. You are giving away protection and not adding protection if you are doing this. Changing the copyright date every year is a forgery to your own disadvantage! And if you fear that people might think the copyright year is the year of expiry simply add something like "published in 2007"
The only solution that makes sense in my opinion is to put a copyright notice without a date in the footer of your website and add the date below content individually everytime you create new or update content.
If someone comes along claiming your content to be his own - all he has to do is point to your copyright notice clearly stating your content was created in 2008 when he has a date of 2006 or 2007 on his own website.
Fortunately for webmasterdom (and creators of unique works everywhere) this is not actually how the law works.
[edited by: IanKelley at 10:11 am (utc) on Jan. 5, 2008]
In my case right now, my copyright is documented back in 2003 with the date on it. Someone claiming copyright in 2007 has zero documentation unless there's been a transfer in writing that can be documented, which does not happen with copyright thievery.
It's easy enough to put copyright from 199(n) or 200(n) to the current year, there's no reason not to and at least it's somewhat of a safeguard.