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'[OT] Automatically updating copyright notices on w'
2009\06\05@134708 by Vitaliy

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Rolf wrote:
> OT: The site says "Copyright © 2006 Remote Solutions, LLC"
>
> Might want to tell the web developer to put some code in, to auto-update
> the
> year.
>
> Vitaliy
>
>
Uhm, no.

You do not want to do that (automatically).

What you do want to do is to ensure you understand copyright law.
Changing the date to 2009 will just confuse people when it goes to
court, and could lead to misunderstandings as to when copyrighted
material was authored. Automatically updating a copyright notice is not
something you want to do... and may in fact get you in to some serious
predicaments.

Rolf

=================

I don't understand what would be the difference, if I manually changed the
date. There are places on the Net that keep this sort of stuff cached, and
they don't care whether the year is human or machine generated.

I find that having an old copyright notice takes away from a company's
credibility ("they don't care enough/don't have enough money to keep the
site up to date").

Vitaliy

2009\06\05@140212 by Bob Blick

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On Fri, 5 Jun 2009 10:45:33 -0700, "Vitaliy" <spam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTspammaksimov.org> said:
{Quote hidden}

When I need a quick piece of legalspeak or template of how "corporate"
would do it, I check Sun for a sample. This is how their website deals
with it:

Copyright 1994-2009  Sun Microsystems, Inc.

Which seems reasonable to me, it covers as many bases as possible. And I
bet the "2009" part is actually a "$CURRENT_YEAR" or equivalent.

Cheerful regards,

Bob


--
http://www.fastmail.fm - Email service worth paying for. Try it for free

2009\06\05@144630 by William \Chops\ Westfield

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On Jun 5, 2009, at 10:45 AM, Vitaliy wrote:

>
> I don't understand what would be the difference, if I manually  
> changed the
> date. There are places on the Net that keep this sort of stuff  
> cached, and
> they don't care whether the year is human or machine generated.

You're only entitled to update the copyright date when you actually  
update the document.  If the site was last updated in 2006, that's  
what it should say.

BillW

2009\06\05@150721 by Vitaliy

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Bob Blick wrote:
When I need a quick piece of legalspeak or template of how "corporate"
would do it, I check Sun for a sample. This is how their website deals
with it:

Copyright 1994-2009  Sun Microsystems, Inc.

Which seems reasonable to me, it covers as many bases as possible. And I
bet the "2009" part is actually a "$CURRENT_YEAR" or equivalent.
==========

That is an excellent idea. Thanks, Bob!

Vitaliy

2009\06\05@162122 by Gerhard Fiedler

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William "Chops" Westfield wrote:

>> I don't understand what would be the difference, if I manually
>> changed the date. There are places on the Net that keep this sort of
>> stuff cached, and they don't care whether the year is human or
>> machine generated.
>
> You're only entitled to update the copyright date when you actually
> update the document.  If the site was last updated in 2006, that's
> what it should say.

Is there really a law that says that I can't review a document (or fake
that I'm reviewing it, which is what apparently many reviewers do all
the time :) and change the copyright notice date on that document to the
current year?

If I'm not mistaken, the whole copyright notice is optional (it's
automatically copyrighted without it), and the year there is also
optional (it's automatically copyrighted at creation). And if anything,
I'm expressing that in the year that I put in the copyright notice, I'm
still holding the copyright. Which I do.

Am I wrong?

(This is not to say that having the date(s) in there may help in a
lawsuit, but that's a different issue. Paying a big retainer to a good
copyright lawyer also helps in a lawsuit :)

Gerhard

2009\06\05@165627 by Vitaliy

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Gerhard Fiedler wrote:
{Quote hidden}

That's exactly what I thought. Copyright notice is just an additional
deterrent. When it gets stale, the negative impact is immediate.

Vitaliy

2009\06\05@224631 by Paul Hutchinson

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> -----Original Message-----
> From: .....piclist-bouncesKILLspamspam@spam@mit.edu On Behalf Of Gerhard Fiedler
> Sent: Friday, June 05, 2009 4:21 PM
>
> William "Chops" Westfield wrote:
>
> > You're only entitled to update the copyright date when you actually
> > update the document.  If the site was last updated in 2006, that's
> > what it should say.
>
> Is there really a law that says that I can't review a document (or fake
> that I'm reviewing it, which is what apparently many reviewers do all
> the time :) and change the copyright notice date on that document to the
> current year?

In the US yes, Title 17 USC 506(c):
"Fraudulent Copyright Notice. - Any person who, with fraudulent intent,
places on any article a notice of copyright or words of the same purport
that such person knows to be false, or who, with fraudulent intent, publicly
distributes or imports for public distribution any article bearing such
notice or words that such person knows to be false, shall be fined not more
than $2,500."
http://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap5.html

Copyright is a time limited right so an accurate date of creation is
important. Deliberately falsifying the date on a work would introduce doubt
and once doubt is introduced it is possible for your copyright to be
invalidated by a court.

> If I'm not mistaken, the whole copyright notice is optional (it's
> automatically copyrighted without it), and the year there is also
> optional (it's automatically copyrighted at creation). And if anything,
> I'm expressing that in the year that I put in the copyright notice, I'm
> still holding the copyright. Which I do.
>
> Am I wrong?

You are mostly correct, the notice is optional but, if there is a notice an
accurate date of creation is required. The automatic copyright only gives
you the right to stop people from copying your work and you are responsible
for all of your costs in getting the infringement stopped. You can't receive
statutory damages or reimbursement of costs unless you have a copyright
notice and register with the copyright office.

Normally adding a copyright notice increases your protection, if you have
falsely changed the copyright date you would almost certainly lose the
increased protections. In this circumstance you would very likely be better
off legally to have no notice rather than a false notice.

> (This is not to say that having the date(s) in there may help in a
> lawsuit, but that's a different issue. Paying a big retainer to a good
> copyright lawyer also helps in a lawsuit :)

Of course he who has the better legal team has the advantage and as usual,
IANAL, YMMV and the information I've given is specific to United States
copyright law.

> Gerhard

2009\06\06@222935 by Rolf

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Vitaliy

The date on a copyright notice should reflect the year in which the
copyright work (all of it) was created.

In a basic sense... if you have a document that says 'Copyright 2009',
but, the content (or a portion of it) was created in 2000, and someone
out there made a copy of your document in 2005, then, is it a copy of
your document in a legal sense, since your copyright notice claims your
content was created in 2009?

How can someone have copied your work before it was authored?

See the official American Copyright FAQ here:

http://www.copyright.gov/help/faq/faq-definitions.html#notice

And, to quote (with my highlight in asterisks):

A copyright notice is an identifier placed on copies of the work to
inform the world of copyright ownership that generally consists of the
symbol or word “copyright (or copr.),” the name of the copyright owner,
and the year of *first publication*, e.g., ©2008 John Doe.

Rolf


Vitaliy wrote:
{Quote hidden}

2009\06\07@125126 by Vitaliy

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Rolf wrote:

The date on a copyright notice should reflect the year in which the
copyright work (all of it) was created.

In a basic sense... if you have a document that says 'Copyright 2009',
but, the content (or a portion of it) was created in 2000, and someone
out there made a copy of your document in 2005, then, is it a copy of
your document in a legal sense, since your copyright notice claims your
content was created in 2009?

How can someone have copied your work before it was authored?
===========

This would be addressed by Bob Blick's suggestion ((C) 199x-200x).

You failed to explain what would be the difference b/w updating the year by
hand, or having a script to it.

Vitaliy

2009\06\07@153740 by Rolf

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Vitaliy wrote:
{Quote hidden}

Vitaliy.

You miss the point.

There are serious legal consequences to changing the date of copyright.
Anyway, Bob's suggestion is not in keeping with the law either.

The point is that, unless something changes in the document, there
should never be any changes to the notice.

Fundamentally, neither of us know enough about copyright law, but, what
I do know is that changing a copyright notice just because the year
changes is not right.

Copyright lasts for a period of time, and, that time starts from the
moment of publication. At the end of the period, the work falls in to
the public domain. Changing the copyright notice date on a document
implies that it was published in a later year, hence 'magically'
*attempting* to extend the ownership beyond it's legally allowed period.
Doing so would almost certainly cause consternation in court.

Basically, my original statement holds... that you do not want to
automatically modify copyright notices ever.

Speak to a lawyer.

Rolf

2009\06\07@160640 by William \Chops\ Westfield

face picon face

On Jun 7, 2009, at 12:37 PM, Rolf wrote:

> that you do not want to automatically modify copyright notices ever.

We have automatic copyright updates as part of file checkin in our  
version control software.  I think that's appropriate and results in  
correct copyright notices.  It's also pretty easy to implement (v1 was  
a check for out-of-date copyrights, v2 does the automatic update.)

Web page source should be under version control, right?

As an interesting note, the lawyers have gone back and forth on the  
desired format for a discontiguous copyright notice.  If a file was  
originally written in 2000 and we update it in 2005, we used to write  
"copyright 2000-2005", and then we were told "no, no, "2000, 2005"",  
and now we're back to "2000-2005"  One advantage of the automatic  
copyright update is that it keeps the format consistent with current  
thinking of the legal team...

BillW


2009\06\07@173445 by AGSCalabrese

picon face
So what happens if you update the work trivially and update the notice ?
I would guess the copyright covers the additions only.
Gus

{Quote hidden}

2009\06\07@190446 by Vitaliy

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William "Chops" Westfield wrote:
> We have automatic copyright updates as part of file checkin in our  
> version control software.  I think that's appropriate and results in  
> correct copyright notices.  It's also pretty easy to implement (v1 was  
> a check for out-of-date copyrights, v2 does the automatic update.)

I'm curious, how does it work?


> Web page source should be under version control, right?

Ours definitely is.

Vitaliy

2009\06\08@083824 by Gerhard Fiedler

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Paul Hutchinson wrote:

>> Is there really a law that says that I can't review a document (or
>> fake that I'm reviewing it, which is what apparently many reviewers
>> do all the time :) and change the copyright notice date on that
>> document to the current year?
>
> In the US yes, Title 17 USC 506(c):
> "Fraudulent Copyright Notice. - Any person who, with fraudulent
> intent, places on any article a notice of copyright or words of the
> same purport that such person knows to be false, or who, with
> fraudulent intent, publicly distributes or imports for public
> distribution any article bearing such notice or words that such
> person knows to be false, shall be fined not more than $2,500."
> http://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap5.html
>
> Copyright is a time limited right so an accurate date of creation is
> important. Deliberately falsifying the date on a work would introduce
> doubt and once doubt is introduced it is possible for your copyright
> to be invalidated by a court.

Thanks. I thought that the US also had adopted the rule that copyright
is linked to the lifetime of the author, in which case the date of
creation would be irrelevant.

(Notwithstanding of course the argument that having the date of first
publication or creation in the document makes it easier to determine
which publication is a copy of which one.)

Gerhard

2009\06\08@085359 by Gerhard Fiedler

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Vitaliy wrote:

> William "Chops" Westfield wrote:
>> We have automatic copyright updates as part of file checkin in our  
>> version control software.  I think that's appropriate and results in  
>> correct copyright notices.  It's also pretty easy to implement (v1 was  
>> a check for out-of-date copyrights, v2 does the automatic update.)
>
> I'm curious, how does it work?

Not sure what they do, but you could use a placeholder (e.g. $CopyYears$
in CVSNT) and have the script update it with the years of the first
revision and the current revision, with the specific formatting (comma,
dash, whatever) being hardcoded in the script.

The exact mechanics how to implement something like this depend on the
version control system.

Gerhard

2009\06\08@121914 by Paul Hutchinson

picon face
> -----Original Message-----
> From: piclist-bouncesspamKILLspammit.edu On Behalf Of Gerhard Fiedler
> Sent: Monday, June 08, 2009 8:38 AM
>
> Paul Hutchinson wrote:
>
> > Copyright is a time limited right so an accurate date of creation is
> > important. Deliberately falsifying the date on a work would introduce
> > doubt and once doubt is introduced it is possible for your copyright
> > to be invalidated by a court.
>
> Thanks. I thought that the US also had adopted the rule that copyright
> is linked to the lifetime of the author, in which case the date of
> creation would be irrelevant.

For individual copyright holders yes but not for companies as this thread
was about. For companies the copyright lasts 95 years after publication or
120 years after creation, whichever is shortest.

Paul Hutch

>
> (Notwithstanding of course the argument that having the date of first
> publication or creation in the document makes it easier to determine
> which publication is a copy of which one.)
>
> Gerhard
> --

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