at the bottom of webpages in most websites we can see - copyright 2009, copyright 2004-2008 etc.
what does this mean?
is it that the domain name is registered for that period?
i searched hte web, but i couldn't find what exactly is the meaning of this?
nope, nothing connected to web tech at all
take a look at the bottom on this page. there is the answer
Also, it is meaningless (in most countries??). The author of a work automatically gains copyright over that work purely by authoring it. The rest is just your word vs their word in court.
Good question to arise.
Actually i was too wondering the purpose of using this.
so if i've to use this phrase in my website, what rights should i have?
The same rights you would have if you didn't use it. Perhaps try the "business and legal issues" section if you are looking for legal advice
Yes, exactly. Once the domain name expires the copyright is no longer valid?
If you want to copyright your work, then make sure to register the domain name for a long time?
Before the Internet, before the domain names existed there was no way to copyright written work?
The dates are those on which the page content was first created. Where a second date is shown it usually automatically shows the current year to remind people the copyright hasn't expired yet.
The notice is basically there to remind the people who have forgotten that almost everything on the web is subject to copyright that the current page is not one of the rare exceptions.
As hash already said, your work is automatically copyrighted the instant you create it. That is, if your country is a signatory of the Berne Convention, which it likely is. The existence of that Internet changes none of that. The length of the copyright has no relation to the length of the registration of your domain name.
Before the Berne convention, works had to usually be registered with the country's copyright office for countries you wanted copyright protection in, and you had to display a copyright notice (if in the US). If you work was created after that date (it varies with the country that you are in), then you don't have to worry about it. Given the recent age of the Internet (and thus websites), you don't have to worry about it.
If you are in the US, registering for copyright protection with the copyright office offers advantages, such as the ability to sue for statuary damages (sue without having to prove the monetary damages, i.e. sue purely based on the act of infringement).
Copyright runs automatically from when the article was first written to a specific number of years after the death of the person who wrote it. The only variable in that between most countries is the number of years after death - in some countries it expires 50 years after the author dies while in other countries it lasts 70 years. Some countries also had different rules in the past which is why some material where the author died some time ago are still covered by copyright in some countries and not others. One recent example of this that made the news is in connection with the books of George Orwell ("Animal Farm", "1984" etc). Amazon wiped the copies of those books from all the Kindles they had been downloaded to because the books were still covered by copyright in the USA under the 70 year rule and should therefore never have been made available there in the first place. The same books are well out of copyright in countries where it expires 50 years after the author's death.
And to add to what felgall has said, the reason why people place a copyright message on the bottom of the page is usually to attribute copyright explicitly for people who do not understand how copyright works (to ensure they cannot claim ignorance of the copyright being implied). Generally people place a generic copyright statement from the date the website came into being and covering the current year in action, even though copyright exists from the point of creation and after death (without needing to expressly imply it) to give them some leverage in case someone violates copyright and then claims they didn't know the works were protected. It has nothing to-do with domain registrations, it's simply stating that the stuff on the website is protected by law (and possibly backed up by a copyright statement, policies or terms of service contract). Owning a domain name does not provide you with copyright protection (I'm not sure why on earth you would think that).
There are exceptions to this. In some countries, certain medias are only covered a certain number of years after the work was created or when it was first published, rather than after the time of death of the author. This usually applies to movies, music and photographs, whereas books are covered by the 'after death' time period.
I've found the Copyright Slider useful and informative:
Web pages being a written work usually come under the same copyright rules as books - at least in so far as entire web pages are concerned.
That information only applies in one country and is irrelevant anywhere outside of that country. The rest of the world have different rules on copyright. With web pages the copyright rules in the country of your reader are the ones that apply to them.
Here in Australia the copyright is very simple - 50 years from the date of death.
True. But it's relevant if the webpage contains something other than written text.
I wouldn't agree, websites are generally comprised of more than the kind of content you would find in a book, most websites have text, images and could have functionality of applications which could be (debatable) patented, multimedia (both audio and video which falls under broadcasting or media law) and then there's the additional issue surrounding collaboration / subscription systems for stuff like selling services and mass licensed micro-contributions. Claiming that a website would follow the same copyright rules as books is like saying newspapers are like twitter... it's may contain similarities but it's on an entirely different platform and balanced by a multitude of different factors. When the model of delivery changes, the rules which govern it's rights are usually affected :rolleyes:
I agree with you. I was thinking more along the lines of those web pages that typically have a copyright notice on them which are usually static content consisting mostly of text and images and therefore are simiilar to books.
The more dynamic web pages tend to not have copyright notices on the page as they often contain material that is owned by different people and therefore there is no one person that can claim copyright over it. Of course all of that material is still subject to the appropriate copyright laws but you can't really place a "copyright 2009 XYZ ltd" on it because Joe, Mary, Harry, and ABC Ltd own the copyrights on part of the content and if you put "copyright 2009 XYZ ltd, Joe, Mary, Harry, and ABC Ltd" then the notice is wrong when Robin's content gets added.
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