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Time to Update Your Copyright Year

     
5:05 pm on Jan 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I know it is early in the year, but before you forget you may want to update the copyright year on your websites. I've noticed that several big sites including Google, eBay and even WW have yet to do so, so I'm guessing most of us small guys have not done it either.
5:08 pm on Jan 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

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All done on my sites that have them :)

And please if you still have Christmas images up, please take them off! ;)

5:16 pm on Jan 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

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We changed ours long ago to just pull the server date when displaying- never need to manually change each year. :)

[edited by: LifeinAsia at 5:16 pm (utc) on Jan. 4, 2008]

5:35 pm on Jan 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I create a new site template each year - even if it's only a tweak or two to give the site a "fresh" look. I put the template together in December and it goes live on January 1 along with the new copyright year.
5:45 pm on Jan 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

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What are the ramifications of forgetting to do this? Does a 2007 date invalidate my copyright in 2008?
5:47 pm on Jan 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

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pull the server date when displaying- never need to manually change each year

- ditto -

5:54 pm on Jan 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

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From my understanding, technically you don't need to update the copyright date if you don't add anything new to the site. But I get the feeling that Joe User sees a copyright date from a previous year and decides:
1) This site hasn't been updated in so long- dead
2) The copyright expired, so I can just take what I want

So to be on the safe side, I keep my copyright date "fresh."

5:55 pm on Jan 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Also do it using the server date.

For example:

in ASP:
Copyright <%=year(date)%>

in PHP:
Copyright <?php echo Date(Y);?>

6:04 pm on Jan 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

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updated mine over the weekend I as well did a full site maintance added no follows etc to some outbound links as well as launched a couple sites..

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..

6:05 pm on Jan 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Yep, if you run on php just use this and you'll never have to think about this again:

<? echo date("Y");?>

6:28 pm on Jan 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

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ColdFusion: <cfoutput>&copy; #Year(Now())#</cfoutput>

Oh and don't forget about changing that on Credit Card input form as well.

7:17 pm on Jan 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I programmed my Content Management System so that the year gets update automatically when I update the content. Thanks for the tip though. It's especially important in eCommerce sites where potential customers use freshness as a sign of reliability and trustworthyness.
7:53 pm on Jan 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

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And please if you still have Christmas images up, please take them off! ;)

Maybe i am just preparing for the Christmas rush 2008!

9:19 pm on Jan 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

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in PHP:
Copyright <?php echo Date(Y);?>

Beautiful! Thank you for posting this defanjos.

9:28 pm on Jan 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

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And for SSI you use:

<!--#config timefmt="%Y" --><!--#echo var="DATE_LOCAL" -->

12:16 am on Jan 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Did a survey a few years ago on how fast the big boys update their copyright year. Maybe 10% changed in the first few days. Took several a few months to show the new year.

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.

1:10 am on Jan 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Launched a site not long ago where the established company behind it requested a 2003 copyright date to be shown, for reasons unknown. My assumption was that they felt it to be a symbol of longevity online.
1:18 am on Jan 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

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The bottom of this page still says "1996-2007".
1:44 am on Jan 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

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They all seem to be getting faster at it. As of the last 10 minutes:
------------------------------------------

" 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"

"Copyright 1995-2007 eBay Inc. All Rights Reserved. Designated trademarks and brands are the property of their respective owners. Use of this Web site constitutes acceptance of the eBay User Agreement and Privacy Policy."

" 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.

7:11 am on Jan 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

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While we are on this topic (and updating our sites), do we need just "2008" or a date range, for example "2000-2008"? Any legal reason to have a date range?
7:27 am on Jan 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Copyright 2001+
8:03 am on Jan 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Could depend on the country, but I believe all legal formalities have long been dispensed with in the USA, Canada, UK and most other places. You don't have to do anything to have your material protected, but the symbol looks cool and official. Makes it look like you hired a lawyer. Implies you'll hire him again if need be.

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.

8:09 am on Jan 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I'm glad I always put from-to dates on sites. I'll be filing DMCA complaints against someone who decided they owned the copyright to a site and absconded credit, so those screenshots with the range of dates is lovely as part of the documentation.

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.

8:24 am on Jan 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

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You don't have to do anything to have your material protected

This is true, at least in the US. Publishing original content copyrights it.

The copyright notice at the bottom of a webpage has no actual legal meaning.

9:13 am on Jan 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I never put a specific date on my copyright footer, because I assume that Joe User doesn't understand copyright at all, and will take an outdated copyright year to mean that the copyright doesn't stand. Is there any specific advantage to including the date?
9:29 am on Jan 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I am a little confused. The purpose of a copyright date is to tell the world that you have created a piece of content and when you have created it. It is a document to proove and underline your copyright claims. So if anybody finds your content somewhere else you can point to the date and say: See - I published this already in 2004. Mine is the original.

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.

9:58 am on Jan 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

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lol

ww:

1996-2007 all rights reserved

10:10 am on Jan 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

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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]

10:12 am on Jan 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

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The archives in the Wayback Machine show the copyright dates on web pages they have archived, and they're archived there by date. So some OP has no way to prove stolen content was up on their site with bogus dates at a past point in time. If yours says 2001-2007 and was updated annually, then 2001 and 2002 and 2003, etc. with the date starting the first year, will show up in the archives for the past years. Not so with a content thief.

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.

4:39 pm on Jan 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Since all of the posts to this topic are made in 2008
it seems to me the copyright date in the footer should be
2008 not 1996-2007
This 42 message thread spans 2 pages: 42