[wp-hackers] Update your copyright notices today!

Matt Patenaude MattPat at mattpat.net
Wed Jan 2 01:29:46 GMT 2008

I'd like to propose a reasonable-sounding solution so that everyone  
stops arguing and we enjoy 2008:

Anything that anyone creates is copyrightable, and indeed, as soon as  
something is created, the creator owns the copyrights to that entity.

It would then be a reasonable jump to assume that a copyright date is  
actually a span of dates-- from the time the first letter of a work is  
put down, to the time the last letter is put down. This is likely why  
copyright dates are always shown as years: it gets very messy to do  

Let's consider a blog a work as a whole, a work that is always in  
development. It would stand to reason that, while each post on a blog  
has its own individual copyright date, the work as a whole has a  
copyright date that ranges from the starting copyright date of the  
first post, to the ending copyright date of the last post. Thus, for a  
blog I started in 2005, I would use a copyright message of "Copyright  
(C) 2005 - 2008 Matt Patenaude," provided that I had made a post in  
2008. Technically, until I make that first post of 2008, the copyright  
date should stay at 2007.

I'd suggest that this is where the convention comes from: since the  
blog as a whole is a work that is still in development in the present  
year, when it becomes a new year, it's perfectly acceptable to move  
the copyright date forward. If the blog were no longer maintained,  
this would of course be inappropriate, but as "creation" is still  
occurring, the copyright date is not finalized.

IANAL, but I believe that that ^^ would stand up in court.

Now, let's stop fighting. :)


On Jan 1, 2008, at 12:01 PM, Elliotte Rusty Harold wrote:

> Chris Williams wrote:
>> Gee, Rusty, I would suggest you read the document I referenced.  It
>> specifically discusses what constitutes publication.  Note that  
>> "server" and
>> "browser" are not mentioned. :)
> Irrelevant, and I'm sorry but you are still wrong one every level. I  
> hate to be a nag, but I really don't want to see still more fictions  
> about copyright law get propagated. The basic requirements of  
> copyright law are actually not all that complex, and are certainly  
> within the reach of subscribers to this mailing list, provided that  
> they don't listen to myth, superstition, and misinformation.
>> This is not settled law, and as I noted, printing a date is optional.
>> However, deposit is, and I doubt anyone here is meeting that  
>> requirement.
>> So most of this makes this whole discussion moot, or at least  
>> fodder for
>> $1000/hour legal teams, not you and I.
> It is indeed settled law. There is absolutely nothing in copyright  
> law that in any way suggests that mere republication in any form or  
> medium, online or off, resets the copyright date.
> Furthermore, if you read the document you referenced, you would  
> notice that deposit is *NOT* required to maintain one's copyrights.  
> It used to be but that hasn't been true for decades now. This is  
> another popular superstition about copyright law.
> There are some unsettled areas in copyright law, but these just  
> aren't them.
> -- 
> Elliotte Rusty Harold  elharo at metalab.unc.edu
> Java I/O 2nd Edition Just Published!
> http://www.cafeaulait.org/books/javaio2/
> http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ISBN=0596527500/ref=nosim/cafeaulaitA/
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