Mind your dates
January 4, 2007 at 7:35 PM
Just a quick reminder for everyone: update your site’s copyright statment date in your footer. This doesn’t have to be a manual task each year, you can automate it by including one of the following statments in place of the year:
<!–#config timefmt="%Y" –>
<!–#echo var="DATE_LOCAL" –>
RightNow = new Date();
document.write(+ RightNow.getFullYear() +".")
<?php echo date("Y") ?>
Ok, I am sure there are plenty of other ways to do this too… anyone know the code to get the year for Ruby on Rails? Anyway, hope that was helpful. Have a happy New Year everyone.
This will get you the current year in Rails: <= Time.now.year >
I’m have been doing it for a long time for our clients websites.
The copyright is valid from the time that something is first published, not from the time it is downloaded. Consequently, the copyright notice should not be updated unless the text is updated. Also, note that automatically generated content is not generally copyrightable under US law. However, under US law (and most countries’ laws) any content which is copyrightable is automatically copyrighted regardless of any notice. The upshot is that it is not necessary (nor desirable from a legal standpoint) to auto-generate a copyright notice with the current date, but it *probably* won’t hurt anything either (IANAL). The best thing is to auto-generate the date when creating new content, or use a template that determines all of the modification dates and puts together something like Copyright (C) 1997,2006,2007 by …
ASP, .NET, VB Tom, You are exactly right! This is also why many companies write copyright 1990-2007 (or something similar). A very common approach, but very wrong.
While I fully agree and respect your point, Tom. The main purpose of including a copyright statement on a web page is to discourage people from using the material with out permission and to remind them that material (at least in the U.S.) is copyrighted at the time of it’s creation. More to the point if I had a statement that showed the last year a piece of content was updated and that was maybe 2 years ago, I am willing to bet a lot of people would assume that if it had a stamp that said “copyright 2005” etc they would tend to believe the copyright has lapsed and thus is fair game to use… no matter how incorrect that may be. All in all, the post I created was an attempt to help web developers automate the process. I am not a lawyer much less a copyright expert, I am simply offering advice on how to automat a typical process that occurs on most web sites.
Nothwithstanding proper use of the copyright date, a large number of peope will look at to see if the site is current as well as attention to detail. If a site has copyright 1990, some believe the site hasn’t been updated. Or, if a site has an accurate copyright date, e.g., 1990, in the footer but new content shows 2007, some believe that the site owners are not detail-orientated.