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Example.com was registered in 05 and Example2.com was registered in 09.
should I put © 2005-2009 Example.com
I know the correct way is © 2009 Example2.com but I want my visitors to know that the site has been live since ’05 and I only changed the domain name/brand.
We use an .inc.php that uses a variable $startyear that notes when the site opened for business and a variable $currentyear = date (Y); that automatically updates the footers.
"use another domain on the same website"
I don't quite understand this, but each domain gets a $startyear of when we took it live. We don't look for ways to 'pad' extra years. If it is a new site, we are hungry. If is an old site, we are established. LOL
So if you switch to a new domain (2009 registered), but it is the same company, same content, etc as the old 2005 domain, then I would keep the same copyright dates of 2005-2009.
You are not claiming a copyright to the URL, you are claiming a copyright to the content. Though in some cases you may have copy rights on the URL. But in general folks want to protect their content.
Note: I am not a lawyer. This is just my opinion.