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Opened 19 months ago

Closed 19 months ago

Last modified 19 months ago

#26776 closed feature request (wontfix)

Copyright setting field

Reported by: Daedalon Owned by:
Milestone: Priority: normal
Severity: normal Version: 3.8
Component: General Keywords: close
Focuses: Cc:

Description

WordPress 3.8 doesn't have a setting for a copyright notice. Due to this, and to users wanting to assert a copyright to their work, many themes show a default copyright notice with an automatically updating year, for example so:

&copy; <?php echo bloginfo( 'name' ); ?> <?php echo date('Y'); ?>

Any content that was published on a site and subsequently copied without permission to another site before 2014 would be hard to assert the copyright for, as the site states that no copyrights were obtained before 2014. Anyone who had copied the content in 2013 could benefit from this in contesting a request to remove that content or to pay compensation.

The other common default value, indicating all years from site founding to the current year, can mislead the other way. For a site without any original content publication in 2014, there's no basis for stating that copyrights have been obtained for its contents on 2013-2014.

Accurate copyright statements that stay the same when switching themes require a copyright setting in WordPress core.

Change History (5)

comment:1 @nacin19 months ago

This sounds like plugin material to me, not something WordPress core should be getting involved in.

comment:2 follow-up: @johnbillion19 months ago

  • Keywords close added

I'm not sure where you got that information, but it's incorrect. If the copyright holder for a piece of work needs to be assertained (eg. in court) then the year displayed in the footer of your website is of no consequence because you'll need to independently verify that you're the copyright holder anyway (there are many ways to do so; see any resource that talks about digital or online copyright).

If I steal your content from 2013 and publish it on my site with a Copyright 2004 johnbillion message on it, it will have zero consequence in a court case.

comment:3 in reply to: ↑ 2 @nacin19 months ago

  • Milestone Awaiting Review deleted
  • Resolution set to wontfix
  • Status changed from new to closed

Replying to johnbillion:

I'm not sure where you got that information, but it's incorrect.

Also accurate.

comment:4 @Daedalon19 months ago

Nacin and Johnbillion, thank you for your comments. I may have written unclearly as I wanted to stick to the point. I didn't discuss court proceedings or other legal measures for the reason that a copyright claim is not a proof of copyright, as you state. Most of the online copyright cases never go to court as that would be too expensive in comparison to the potential gains.

When you email an ISP informing that their customer is infringing your copyright, in EU and in the US (DMCA) the ISP is required to take the content down unless your claim seems invalid (that "unless" part is often not well defined in law, so YMMV). This is as far as the majority of copyright infringements go, and making incorrect copyright claims in your site footer is not in the copyright holders' interests. However, we're getting sidetracked here.

The point is that a copyright field is very commonly wanted and used. So commonly that I'm not sure it's in the community's best interests to require every theme author to reinvent the wheel. The only viable non-core alternative I see is an officially endorsed plugin that theme authors are recommended to support. I look forward to comments.

comment:5 @toscho19 months ago

This would be impossible to translate. There is no “copyright” in Germany (it is split into two different rights). Other countries have probably other legal constructs. Pure plugin territory.

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