Make Your Copyright Notice Dynamic

Most website and blog owners place some kind of copyright information on their websites and in their blogs. Copyright notices mean that the copyright holder, reserves all the rights provided by copyright law, such as distribution, performance, and creation of derivative works.

Copyrights are usually found in the footer of most designs, themes or templates. My copyright information is found in the footer. It says, “Copyright © 2003-2011. All rights reserved.” The copyright notice will need to be updated yearly to reflect the current year.

Some owners place a range of years, such as 2000-2010, just like mine, to reflect that the website or blog has been around for a number of years. Often times, the owner forgets to update the copyright information. It’s a simple text change, but there are ways to make it dynamic.

By making your copyright notice dynamic means you never have to edit the copyright notice ever again. At every New Year’s eve, while you are out celebrating, your website magically updates the copyright notice to the latest year. How? It uses a PHP function called date().

To get the current year, use the PHP date function:

<? echo date(“Y”); ?>

If you want a range of years, you can use:

2001-<? echo date(“Y”); ?>

There you have it, a dynamic copyright notice! And one more thing, to display the copyright symbol properly, use the HTML special symbol:

&copy; or &#169; which are the same as the symbol ©

How DRM Cripples Your Enjoyment

I’m sure you heard by now of hundreds of people who bought the movie Avatar on Blu-Ray, but only to find out later when they got home, that they could not watch the movie from their Blu-Ray players because of DRM issues.

Mind you, this is a movie they bought and own, but they couldn’t watch it. The culprit are Blu-Ray players that need firmware upgrades. At first, it was thought to be just Samsung players.

Then, others complained it doesn’t work on other players, LG, Denon and many more. Some have bought the latest Blu-Ray players and upgraded them with the latest firmware only to find out it doesn’t work either.

DRM copyright protection is suppose to stop piracy, but it doesn’t really. Piracy is still rampant. One thing DRM does is cripple the enjoyment of those who have a legal copy, a movie they bought and own.

Hidden Watermark

I just read an article about 5 Useful Free Plugins for Gimp. One plugin is called Hidden Watermark with a couple of sample images. If you look at the original image and the watermarked one, you can’t really tell difference, until you open up and verify the image. I thought the purpose of a watermark is two-fold: to copyright your images, and to display credit.

The Hidden Watermark plugin covers the first, but not the second. Without a visible watermark, anyone can unknowingly infringe on your artwork. I rather have a visible watermark. I know I’ve stopped using images because I’ve seen watermarks on them. I’m sure others do the same. All the more reason to leave a visible watermark.

Just a personal preference.