Copyright notices in code files



  • At my new job, they like to put copyright notices at the top of each code file. It's around a page long and has a whole bunch of stuff I've never actually read before.

    Any of you guys do that? Thoughts? Is it a waste of time, or is there actually some legal benefit to it?



  • @mott555 said:

    At my new job, they like to put copyright notices at the top of each code file. It's around a page long and has a whole bunch of stuff I've never actually read before.

    Any of you guys do that? Thoughts? Is it a waste of time, or is there actually some legal benefit to it?

    Are you following some kind of Capability Mature Model?



  • Fuck's sake-- it's put there by idiot managers who don't understand simple things like the law or not soiling themselves.  It's a sure sign of a delusional sociopath boss.

    "omg someone might steal our precious precious amazing awesome login page codez!!!!!!!"

    It's safe money they couldn't even tell you the difference between trademark, copyright or trade secret.



  • @Lorne Kates said:

    Fuck's sake-- it's put there by idiot managers who don't understand simple things like the law or not soiling themselves.  It's a sure sign of a delusional sociopath boss.

    "omg someone might steal our precious precious amazing awesome login page codez!!!!!!!"

    It's safe money they couldn't even tell you the difference between trademark, copyright or trade secret.

    Shit, I couldn't tell you that without Google. Or a dictionary, I suppose.

    My favorite is that in the footer of all our sites says something like this:

    &copy; <%= DateTime.Now.Year.ToString() %>
    

    And I always wonder: does that actually do anything? I'm not sure it does...



  • @Lorne Kates said:

    Fuck's sake-- it's put there by idiot managers who don't understand simple things like the law or not soiling themselves.

    Basicly what Lorne is saying.  I figure it's something like the disclaimers that some people put at the bottom of emails about things being confidential info and to delete things if you shouldn't have gotten it.  Most companies have legal departments that would tear this crap apart, but I suppose that due to most people not understanding even basic law they probably do prove effective.



  • @mikeTheLiar said:

    @Lorne Kates said:

    Fuck's sake-- it's put there by idiot managers who don't understand simple things like the law or not soiling themselves.  It's a sure sign of a delusional sociopath boss.

    "omg someone might steal our precious precious amazing awesome login page codez!!!!!!!"

    It's safe money they couldn't even tell you the difference between trademark, copyright or trade secret.

    Shit, I couldn't tell you that without Google. Or a dictionary, I suppose.

    My favorite is that in the footer of all our sites says something like this:

    &copy; <%= DateTime.Now.Year.ToString() %>
    

    And I always wonder: does that actually do anything? I'm not sure it does...

    If your site has the current year as a copyright and the latest content is not from this year, I automatically assume you are an idiot.



  •  We do the same, but at least it's only one line, and we've so far held off the required changelog. Yes we do use a version management system, why do you ask?



  • People in my company are very fond of copy-pasta, so file headers vary widely, depending on the original source:

    • Some legacy code includes a long disclaimer including legalese boilerplate about not using the code to control nuclear power plants or life support devices, despite the code in question being the equivalent of a unit test never intended to leave the building.
    • Some code that started its life as an example from an external vendor of how to use their library has grown into a real implementation (again, for internal use only), but still has the vendor's header, including the copyright notice and the name of some person at the vendor's company as the author, unmodified. Bonus points for the fact that the example's // TODO module description here still isn't done.
    • As above, but at least the names are changed to our company and employee.
    • A reasonable copyright notice, along with a possibly informative, possibly not, module description. The only problem is that, due to copy-pasta, the description is for a completely different module.
    • One of my personal favorites, fortunately fairly rare, is the invisible header. No copyright. No description. No other comments anywhere in the file.

    Sanity may be coming. Coding standards under development are supposed to include a standard (simple) file header format. Sanity will only arrive if people follow the standards; I'm not holding my breath.



  • @Lorne Kates said:

    Fuck's sake-- it's put there by idiot managers who don't understand simple things like the law or not soiling themselves.

    Wait... wait... slow down. Not soiling themselves? There's a way to do that?



  •  

    My favorite is that in the footer of all our sites says something like this:

    &copy; <%= DateTime.Now.Year.ToString() %>

    And I always wonder: does that actually do anything? I'm not sure it does...

     (quote fuction dosn't work...)

    Automating it invalidates it. Someone has to manually put in a fixed year number when they update for the copyright message to be valid.

     Otherwise, someone just has to run it on a machine set to they year 1901, print the page, and claim 'The Copyright expired, since this website was made over 100 years ago."

     

    Also, you end up with FireFox claiming your page was written in 19114. (script saying (19 + currentyear) gets interpreted as a string concatination...)



  • @bgodot said:

     

    My favorite is that in the footer of all our sites says something like this:

    &copy; <%= DateTime.Now.Year.ToString() %>

    And I always wonder: does that actually do anything? I'm not sure it does...

     (quote fuction dosn't work...)

    Automating it invalidates it. Someone has to manually put in a fixed year number when they update for the copyright message to be valid.

     Otherwise, someone just has to run it on a machine set to they year 1901, print the page, and claim 'The Copyright expired, since this website was made over 100 years ago."

     

    Also, you end up with FireFox claiming your page was written in 19114. (script saying (19 + currentyear) gets interpreted as a string concatination...)

    If you can change the server's clock, you can probably also just delete all the content and say "copyrighted content? what content?"



  •  The 19114 example was from client side scripting


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