Time to update copyright notice

Down at the bottom of the page it says “Contents of the Straight Dope Message Board and the Straight Dope Web site are copyright 1984-2000 by the Chicago Reader, Inc.” That should probably be updated to say “copyright 1984-2001”.

The Straight Dope Homepage ( http://www.straightdope.com ) has “Copyright © 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 Chicago Reader, Inc.” Seems strange they don’t include 1984-1995, especially since so many Straight Dope Classics date from that period. The first Straight Dope book came out in 1984 but some of the columns must have been published in the pages of the Chicago Reader and other periodicals in earlier years.

And another thing: There is one column available online that dates from well before 1984 that isn’t in any of the books: The first Straight Dope column 02-Feb-1973, which I am quite sure is still copyrighted.

I suspect that the copyrights listed starting with 1996 are for the webpage, not for the Straight Dope as a whole. While much of the material is older than that and copyrighted elsewhere, the straightdope.com website is only a few years old.

You don’t have to put a © on something to copyright it. It is automaticly copyrighted. The copyright mark is obsolete, sure it might scare some people from stealing work but it doesn’t have any legal meaning.

It can help offer protection in Universal Copyright Convention nations which are not Berne Convention nations.

Interesting note: The © has absolutely no legal force anywhere. You have to have the complete circle around the C for it to mean anything.