[TYPO3-core] Copyright-year in license-headers

Jigal van Hemert jigal.van.hemert at typo3.org
Fri Feb 14 15:48:20 CET 2014


On 14-2-2014 3:57, Michael Schams wrote:
> On 13/02/14 05:03, Jigal van Hemert wrote:
>>>> [...] So, I doubt that incrementing the year value, when someone
>>>> touches a file is required/practical.
>>> Wrong, the copyright your states when "created" your copyright. If you
>>> edit a file, then you create a derived work with a new copyright.
>>> Therefore you must only change the copyright year if you edit a file.
> Ok, understood. Does this mean, if you do *not* change a file, you *must
> not* update the copyright year?

No. From a general legal point of view you don't have to mention a year 
at all. It's merely informational.

>> The answer from a lawyer who specializes in copyright law:
>> http://www.copyrightlaws.com/copyright-basics/copyright-notice-year/
> Reading this article again and again... I don't get how this could
> answer Stefan's original question: how do we generally handle
> copyright-updates in the license-headers? (or how should we handle this
> in the future) :-)

It tells us that we don't have to put a copyright year in your message. 
Most of the times the year of the publication is put in the message. 
[Copyright 1998 John Doe]
If the document was changed (like publishing a new print of a book with 
modifications) one can add the new year. [Copyright 1998, 2002 John Doe]
If the document contains items with different publication dates (blog, 
book with articles published in different years) one can add a year 
range. [Copyright 1998-2007 John Doe]

A year is not mandatory, nor is it mandatory to update it. Some people 
use it as an indication to see when thing are changed and thus to know 
how up-to-date the information is.

We could easily leave out the year altogether. The product version and 
release date indicate how old the whole package is. The history of the 
file is stored in the git history.

Jigal van Hemert
TYPO3 CMS Active Contributor

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