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Is this legal / morally ok? #771

Download opened this Issue Jan 9, 2016 · 6 comments


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Download commented Jan 9, 2016

First of all, cool project this! So please don't see this is as negative criticism...

In your readme you state that

note that the date will always show the current year

This is actually pretty common practice but I've always frowned upon it.
Copyright is not unlimited. It expires. This is why copyright notices contain a year. It allows us to know when the copyright has expired (and resolve matters of prior art etc). By always setting it to the current year we are basically extending it infinitely...

The copyright notice does not in itself hold much legal value afaik, so just putting the current year in it is probably not illegal, but it is definitely wrong technically and I wonder about it's moral implications...
It's also a bit weird that all works by a person licensed under the MIT license would have the same copyright year. The license does not change, but the copyright notice should. It should be different for each created work.

The right thing to do would probably be to allow for the copyright notice details to be passed along in the URL itself, so they could be changed for each project:

Of course you could always fall back to the current year if no year was passed in the URL. Or better yet, use the year the cname was created. That will also stimulate people to pass the URL argument to 'update' the copyright when they make changes later.

What do you think?


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remy commented Apr 20, 2016

A bit late, but I've been re-reading this (after there was an outage on the hosting and I had to update a few bits).

I've added the ability to pin to a specific year as you suggested:

I guess the real source of the problem is that this is a service tied to a single user, whereas licenses are typically inserted into project code, so they're per project, which allows them to have a fixed date.


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Download commented Apr 20, 2016

@remy Very cool, thank you!


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belldandu commented Apr 30, 2016

@remy i like this feature however it would be nice if we could also specify the starting / ending years within the json.


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remy commented Apr 30, 2016

@belldandu given the context of this open issue, I'm not sure putting in the json file would actually make sense. It would then affect everywhere that you linked from... it's possible it's actually in the code already (I've not checked), and if there demand, I'd be happy to accept a PR for it.


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Krinkle commented Jun 30, 2016

@belldandu On a per-project basis you can link to the relevant range for that project. E.g. or

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