View Full Version : Copyright year(s)

April 22nd, 2006, 03:59 PM
I'm using the standard GNU GPL copyright header in my code files. That header includes the line

Copyright (C) year author

I don't know much about copyright laws. What is the legal relevance of the year(s)? Currently all my code still has 2005 (the year of first release) in it. Should I automatically have updated those to "2005, 2006" or "2005-2006" when 2006 started or should I extend the years on a per-file basis only when making changes?

April 22nd, 2006, 04:15 PM
That's a great question. I've wondered about that one myself. While some people may know the answer, I think you'd do better to ask somewhere else on the net.

Maybe this Google Groups search will help:


Regular Google:


April 22nd, 2006, 05:01 PM
You can automatically renew copyright in every year you make a modification and release it.

April 22nd, 2006, 05:29 PM
Wikipedia to the rescue. As per Wikipedia, nothing in the copyright notice or the notice itself is significant (anymore). It seems to be a historical thing.


Use of a copyright notice - constituted of a letter c inside a circle (i.e., ), or the word "copyright", followed by the year(s) of the copyright and the name of the copyright holder - was part of previous United States statutory requirements, but since 1989, when the U.S. signed up to the Berne Convention, the use of copyright notices has become optional, as the Berne Convention makes copyright automatic.