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Updates the copyright years in source code files.

What It Does

Say you have a copyright string in the top of some source file, like:

# Copyright © 2010 John Doe <>

If you edit this file, you would like the copyright notice so reflect the current year as well, like:

# Copyright © 2010, 2012 John Doe <>

This script checks for outdated copyright strings and updates them.

Ranges are detected and collapsed intelligently. If you have 2008, 2009, 2010, it will become 2008-2010. If you mix ranges and single years, this will also be picked up correctly:

2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2012

That list becomes:

2002-2004, 2006, 2008-2009, 2012

In order to prevent changing of copyright notices that do not carry your name, you can create an INI style configuration file at ~/.config/copyright_updater.ini which would look like that:

name = John Doe
email =

replace = true

Additionally, it can replace (c) with © automatically, if you set the option in the config file.

How To Use It

There is a command line utility that you can use to update the copyright in given files.

Then there is also a Vim plugin that checks your files every time you save a file. That way, the copyright is always up to date.



On Debian based systems, you can just call make install. If you want other options passed to ./ install, then call make with a different setupoptions=… argument, where you can specify all the options that you want to setuptools.


Go into the python folder and install the Python modules. You can either do it for all users:

python install

Or just for yourself:

python install --user

Then copy the contents of the vim folder (that is plugin) into your ~/.vim folder. If you use Pathogen, you should copy the files into ~/.vim/bundle/copyright_updater/plugin/.