Reminder: Change Copyright Year to 2022

Just a reminder: If you have used copyright notices (©2021) on your sites, change them to ©2022.

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That’s not my understanding of how copyright notices are supposed to work. You should put the year in which what you are copyrighting was initially written, not continually update it and not a range.

If someone has definitive proof that this is wrong, please show me.


At first, I liked your post. But then, I noticed this snippet:

not a range

I think a range is fine. If a website is more than a year old, chances are that not all articles were written in the same year. Therefore, a range of copyrighted articles from oldest to newest ones is perfectly logical and acceptable, if used in the context of the website as the whole. If you want to be specially pedantic, you can mark single articles as copyrighted with an exact date of creation.


I doubt you “need” a date at all.

There are also differences between private persons/authors and organizations.

More interestingly, what would you do after examining someone copies content from your website? Claiming such is, afaik, quite difficult.

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And so different in USA…not near as complicated!

Copyright regulations differ per country. Generally, you automatically gain the copyright just by creating the content, but it doesn’t last forever. Eventually everything will enter the public domain.

The copyright message isn’t there to let people know you claim copyright (you have that right unless you release it under a different licence), but to let people know when you created the content.

Depending on where you are in the world and how successful Disney is in lobbying in your part of the world (they keep lobbying to extend the period so Mickey Mouse doesn’t enter the public domain), your copyright to your content could last for several decades after you pass away. By time stamping your content, no one can claim your content is so old that it should be in the public domain.

Then again, no website is currently old enough to be in the public domain, even if it was created at the very dawn of the World Wide Web and the creator passed away five minutes after that :wink:

As @Rovertek mentioned, if you have a collection of contents made in different years, then a range is appropriate. You can’t just extend the copyright of a single work by upping the © notice every January 1st though; you would need to change or extend the content for that to be valid.



Thanks, perfect answer :smiley::+1:

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Yes, copyright does expire, but not (in the case of text) until 70 years after the death of the author! This should easily cover most of our needs. This 70 years rule is pretty well universal now. I still put a copyright date and change it every year, but that’s just to reassure readers that the site is still being updated.


If you don’t want to update manually you can write

© <script>document.write(new Date().getFullYear())</script>

I found this working on most servers


That is Javascript and has nothing to do with the server, but requires the user to have JavaScript enabled on their browser. That shouldn’t be an issue for over 99% of users.

Everyone should remember that there are no “Copyright Police” at least not here in the U.S., so any protection you have is only as good as you will take it in civil actions. So unless you intend to hire a lawyer to take action against someone who has stolen your content, placing the Copyright on the page is pretty much just for show.

If you think sometime, you want to take action, then they base Copyright on who owned it first. So by placing the current year only on a copyright statement and not the first year you published, that content could weaken your claim.
Btw: we have covered a lot of this in previous posts.


Perhaps if Realmac added a %current_year% variable, this could be handled automatically?

@dan Something for RW9?


that would be perfect! …not only for of the “copyright year”…also quite useful for other use cases


Keep in mind that these types of template variables are only evaluated when the site is published. You’d still need to publish all pages where this is used for it to update them.

You can add this PHP / JS code snip into the General settings > Footer

Copyright © <?php $copyYear = 1998; $curYear = date('Y'); echo $copyYear . (($copyYear != $curYear) ? '-' . $curYear : ''); ?> Your name

You’ll never need to worry about this again.


This only work if all pages are PHP pages.

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I’ve held copyrights for almost 40 years now, both for written work (including software) and for photographs. There is a massive amount of incorrect information on copyright floating around on “the font of all wisdom” and some of it is here.

Read it for yourself: Circulars | U.S. Copyright Office

Circular 01 covers the basics.

This thread is based on a mistaken premise: that a website can be copyrighted. Here’s what the copyright office says about that: “The Copyright Act does not explicitly recognize websites as a type of copyrightable subject matter. However, you may be able to register a website or a specific web page if it satisfies certain statutory requirements.” (

Multiyear designations (copyright 2001-2004) are for the years that the original work was edited, or when a copyright has been purchased and transferred to a new owner.

The copyright notice has a very specific form, listed in Circular 01. The reply that copyright is granted once a work is in tangible form is correct, but the purpose of registering the copyright is in case the item is used illegally. You will get absolutely nowhere in court if you did not register your copyright.

It is NOT correct to change the date of a copyright just because the year rolls over. forbesrodney is entirely correct.

Copyright is not remotely simple or easy to understand. If it were, there would not be over a hundred circulars on it.


Thank you, Michael :slight_smile:
… and a question as I’m a non-coder:

Where in RW do I have to insert the line of code you submitted?

Thanks and a Happy New Year to all!

I’m with the group that updates every year simply to assure my visitors that the site is maintained and updated.

By the way, here in the USA, nine of the top ten Fortune 500 update their copyright:

  • 5 use only the current year
  • 4 use a range of years
  • 1 doesn’t have anything at all in their footer- it’s 100% totally blank. Not even a link to their privacy statement. Seriously:
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It is Google!!! hehe

There is also the macro in RW for last published date too, as an alternative to using copyright as an indication of updates.