I have the following line in my BSD (new, 2 clause) open-source code:

// Copyright (c) 2003-present, Jodd Team (http://jodd.org)

Previously, I've used a real year (e.g. 2003-2014). However, updating a lot of files every January just to update the year is PITA.

Is above copyright statement correct for BSD license?

Btw, I saw this in Facebooks code.


1 Answer 1


The answer to your question is very wide, because it depends on the Laws of the Country you're referring to.

To keep a long story short the above copyright statement is incorrect for any license.

To take it as a general discussion that will probably protect you in many countries, I suggest you to update the year as soon as you update that source file.

If allowed by the Law, you can specify an interval, which would mean you continuously authored that file between year X and Y; where Y is not last year of validity of your copyright, which often - depending on the country - lasts 75 years after the death of the author.

In some countries using "present" would mean "right now", which is the exact moment when you write that, and it'll put you in a very weak position would you go in a court because:

  1. you're clearly lying because you did not wrote it "right now" in a court;
  2. that won't prove that you wrote that piece of software before somebody else but, on the contrary anybody else can claim you copied it as you declared that you authored it "right now".
  • "update the year as soon as you update that source file." - so it means that i dont have to update all source files every year? I understood that I have to.
    – игор
    Commented Dec 28, 2016 at 18:27
  • 1
    that's correct, because each source file will be protected since its own history. However many automatically update all the sources regardless they changed or not.
    – David
    Commented Dec 28, 2016 at 19:15
  • 1
    Thanx, didnt know that. Someone should tell facebook that their license is not by the law :)))
    – игор
    Commented Dec 28, 2016 at 20:06
  • @игор apparently someone did, and they changed the license ;)
    – David
    Commented Apr 9, 2019 at 8:42

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