My question concerns the difference between the source code of an HTML/CSS/JavaScript file and the content actually displayed by those files in the browser. I've been thinking about using a copyright notice at the very first line in the source file(s) which covers the authoring of the source itself and also a different copyright notice at the bottom of the displayed content.
(as a side question, is there any technical issue with this, for instance, other things that go on the first line of these files, for instance, the @charset declaration in CSS?)

This difference in my case stems from the fact of possibly re-using source code that I wrote in specific years, going back to when HTML was invented, but also text or images actually displayed in the page and that I produced in other specific years, even before HTML was invented, if you get what I mean.

One more thing, and this might be specific to UK copyright laws, is that for 'static' pages the copyright should be the year when it is authored while for 'dynamic' pages it should be the year when it is displayed. I believe the example they give is PHP generated pages, but would content produced by JavaScript also be considered 'dynamic' and how would I go about the copyright notice for the whole page in that case? Current year, different notices for different parts or what else?

2 Answers 2


I assume you are going to add a copyright notice as a comment e.g. /* some content */, if that is the case, it can go anywhere and it wont affect anything. It is simply text that displays a message to someone who reads the source, but it isn't processed.

As for page copyright notices - which assume is what you mean by displayed in the page, firstly, are you going to go to the effort and expense of attempting to enforce your copyright? If not, why bother?

To cover your static/dynamic dilemma does something like (c) Copyright 2013 - 2017 do the job? The current year can even be dynamic using date('Y').


"If you have a website with original content, your content is automatically protected by copyright. This protection means that others can't lawfully use the original text, images, videos, or music on the site without your permission. If they do, you have a claim for copyright infringement.

To deter unauthorized use of your website content and to possibly win greater damages in a future lawsuit for copyright infringement, you should place a copyright notice on your site."

Read more here: When Do You Need a Copyright Notice on Websites (And Where Do You Place It)?

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