Daniel Berlin wrote:
> You've effectively published a new change to file2.c. The fact that the
> change is *from* file1.c has no bearing.
> Think of it this way:
> If I copy a paragraph from a book I published in 1999 into my new book
> , that doesn't change the copyright date on my new book. It's published
> whenever it's published, regardless of where the *content* came from.
> The copyright notice is supposed to have the year of first publication
> of a work , thankfully.
> Otherwise, you'd get into questions about when a work is fixated, etc,
> which bear on copyrightability (which my spell checker tells me is "not
> a word" (TM). Seems the farther i get in law school, the more this
> happens. :P) itself.
> The reason you see ranges is because each change arguably makes it a
> new work, and thus, needs a new "first publication" date.
> I say arguably because i've not found court cases where this was argued
> (and decided either way), but I am pretty sure that's why they do it.
> Lawyers will generally err on the side of being stupid, annoying, and
> tedious, rather than wrong. It's much better from their perspective to
> be stupid, annoying, and tedious, than to try to defend something in
> court in a case of first impression (IE no one has litigated it before).
> > Also, is it a good or bad idea to update the copyright year in files
> > even though there were no other changes made to them?
> It's pointless, but it doesn't make it invalid.
> You've changed the word, and published a new version. Thus, you can
> update the publication dates to include the new date.
> Of course, that *was* your change, so from a code perspective it's
> pointless (since you only updated the comments).
> It's like printing a second edition of a book where the only change is
> the copyright date. Pointless, but not invalid.
> It's generally easier, when possible (it's not always possible or easy,
> obviously), to think in terms of books when talking about copyright.
> > Does the new
> > copyright year only become "valid" when a change is made to the file
> > in the new year?
> A change to what is visually perceptible is a change, even if the
> change itself has no actual value in software terms.
> Your code is essentially a very boring published manuscript when it
> comes to copyright, not a computer program.
Great! Thanks for clearing that up.
Blair Zajac <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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Received on Fri Jan 3 19:26:26 2003