Code Copyright Statement

My team and I have been asked by our management to add a Copyright Statement at the top of all our code. Do any of you guys have a good example of what we could/should use?

Thanks for your time.

I would keep it simple with something like:
“<company name> is the copyright holder of all code below. Do not re-use without permission.”

Thanks for your reply.

Would you then put a copyright symbol and year stamp too?

I would use (c) rather than a copyright symbol, some parsers/compilers don’t like non 7-bit ASCII characters.

I don’t see that the C symbol helps any. Copyright is something that you assert, not something you register so this is just about saying, “hey we made this work from scratch, dont rip us off”. The presence of the C symbol isnt going to prevent you from asserting your Intellectual Property rights.
But hey, it won’t hurt any to use it :wink:

Regarding the year - I wouldn’t put it… for example you wouldn’t want it to be interpreted as your work only being copyrighted in 2006, so someone can use it when it hits 07… know what i mean?

The year is the date of first publication or in the case of unpublished works, the year of completion, not what years the copyright is valid during. Christ educate yourself. It’s not like the government makes the information hard to find:

Other countries will have very similar copyright notice policies if they are members of the Berne Convention.

I’m not Christ and by the way, not everyone in the world is governed by the US

I do however have a Law Degree so I do understand exactly what the year is there for, but in the present context the importance is that people (who don’t understand it) don’t reuse his code. So let’s make the copyright statement clear and unambiguos enough to dissuade other people from copying his code.
Statement or no statement, c or no c, year or no year, his company owns the copyright and it what matters is whether he can prove ownership in a court of law, not whether he’d drafted a legalese copyright statement.


Any countries that are a member of the Berne Convention or UCC, which most are, are going to have nearly the same copyright notice format policy.

True, a copyright notice is not required under the Berne Convention, but it does protect one from innocent infringement. However if you decide to include a copyright notice, it is not just whatever the heck you feel like putting. There is a proper format to use that all countries recognize.

Whether or not Joe Schmoe knows what the year means is not the concern of the copyright owner. And forgoing a proper notice to scare Joe would only serve to hurt oneself since without it you’d no longer be protected from claims of innocent infringement. If you want to put something else in lay terms about not stealing the work, then fine, but put it in addition to the notice, not in place of it.

Indeed. I just found it amusing that you would point to a US government website and exclaim that the Government makes it so easy to find, when you’re on an Australian website with international members… but let’s not argue, I can see that we’re both positive members on this forum :tup:

Agreed. Belt and Braces :smiley:

Excellent discussion.

So just to be clear… Based on the site below…

We could use any of the following:

Copyright (c) © 2006 <Company Name Here>
Copyright 2006 <Company Name Here>
© 2006 <Company Name Here>
(c) 2006 <Company Name Here>

Which one would be the best.

I like the Copyright 2006 [i]<company name here[\i] one the best because it doesn’t use the copyright symbol at all, avoiding any worry if (c) really does equal ©.

BTW: Here is another interesting read.

it’s all new to me hooknc, but if you can use any of the options you’ve posted, logic tells me that you should use the one you prefer as they will all do the same job…