One of the first things that I learned when writing code was to copyright it. As far as I know, the things to do are:

  1. Create a license file that describes the copyright and lists the software files.

  2. Add the copyright to each file containing code. Ex: # (C) Copyright <years> <name>. <license>.

  3. [Optional] Register the software into official organizations of intellectual property.

the stages 1) and 2) I've always seen it in heavy client software, but I ignore why big corporations like Facebook, Google, Microsoft, etc... never do it in their web code (speaking about step 2). And they also don't even use the HTML meta tags:

<meta name="author" content="">
<meta name="copyright" content="">

Is there any legal reason behind this? Is their code already declared on step 3 so they don't bother doing step 2?


1 Answer 1


One of the first things you learned was wrong

Or, at least, incomplete.

Copyright exists the instant the literary or artistic work is "fixed": that is, recorded in some manner that is retrievable and reproducible. Under the Berne Convention, a requirement in domestic law that a work is registered or marked with a copyright notice is not allowed.

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