“To Copyright or not to Copyright” – That is the question!
And it is a good question. Adding a copyright statement is not a legal requirement in the UK and not adding one does not change the fact that copyright exists in the work.
That you have published original work on your website to the World Wide Web, means that all content, images etc belong to you. Adding the copyright statement is way to emphasise that your content is protected by law.
Which raises the next question, what date should you use?
There seems to be different schools of thoughts on this:
Use the original year of publication
Some say that the date the content was published should be the date used on the copyright statement. This option means the date on the notice establishes how far back the claim of copyright goes. If you change the date each year, you are no longer claiming the copyright for the original date so if somebody has copied the work in the meantime and they claim it as theirs it will be harder to claim you were the originator of the work.
Use the current year
The other suggestions is that the date on the copyright should be updated each year. The thinking is that this helps visitor trust and confidence that your site is current and being actively maintained and invested in.
Use a combination of date of origin and current year
A good solution is to use both your start date and the current date.
Copyright © [START DATE] – [CURRENT DATE]. [COMPANY NAME]
It’s interesting to note that Amazon uses this approach, but Google has no copyright notice!
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