> I asked Mary Ann Moran, a lawyer at CollabNet, about updating all
> source files for 2006, versus just updating the ones that changed in
> 2006. Here's what she said:
> | Unfortunately, I think I have to say you need to update on a file
> | by file basis. Since each individual source code file has its own
> | copyright, if the work in that particular copyrighted file is not
> | modified in 2006, then there cannot be a 2006 copyright date. It
> | would be a misrepresentation of the copyright date to put 2006 in
> | that situation, for which I am not sure of the legal consequences,
> | but misrepresentation is never good. The date needs to be
> | whatever the year in which the most recent revision occurred.
> | Sorry the answer could not have entailed less hassle.
Just for interest:
Is there a reason that the copyright and the copyright notice
is on per-file basis, and not for example on function basis,
contribution basis or module basis?
> She also answered the infamous hyphen question once and for all:
> | To give notice that there is previously copyrighted works in the
> | revised works, the notice can state the date of first publication
> | of any of the subversion code, the current year and a hyphen to
> | indicate that revised works in between these dates are copyrighted
> | was well. For example (and I am assuming a 2000 date for first
> | publication of subversion, but it should be the actual date
> | whatever that is) "Copyright 2000-2006, (whomever is the copyright
> | owner)".
> So there we have it -- definitive answers. We need speculate no more.
> Although Mary Ann doesn't say it explicitly, I think I just realized
> why it's legally a Bad Thing to put "2006" in a source file that did
> not change in 2006.
> Copyright terms are limited (in theory, anyway), and the timer starts
> ticking from the date the work was created. For a revised work, i.e.,
> a derived work, that is the date of the most recent revision. By
> putting some later date in the copyright notice, we would be
> fraudulently extending the term of the copyright, holding on to it
> longer than the law allows. That obviously can't be right.
> (Irrelevant detail: it may be that the timer starts ticking from the
> date the work is "published", not "created", I don't know. Heck, I
> don't even know what "published" means in the era of the Internet,
> except perhaps that the text of the work becomes somehow publicly
> available, which I guess would make etymological sense. Anyway, in
> our case the creation date and publication date are the same, since
> our repository is public, so we don't need to resolve that question.)
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Received on Thu Jan 19 13:01:17 2006