False copyright claims are a lucrative business for sleazoids


8 Responses to “False copyright claims are a lucrative business for sleazoids”

  1. misadventures714 says:

    A bit of off-point gentle humor…

    This document, by way of it’s extremely generous footnotes, looks almost like a parody of itself…and numerous other “whitepapers” and RAND reports, etc.

    Three lines of text — and the rest of the page taken up by foootnotes.

  2. Dorange_08 says:

    I’m an MLIS student in archives, and here’s the basic idea behind archival copyright. I apologize if I’m not more clear, but cold medication does not do a whole lot for coherence.

    Because of the nature of the items contained in archives, copyright remains a huge deal. It is related to the manner in which the materials are passed into the archive’s care. Because the creator of the material held the copyright, it is partially given to the archive when the creator signs a donor agreement. The archive is then charged with the care and keeping of those materials, and must do what they can to protect their donors, and protect their donors rights.

    It is easier for archives, many of which do not have the funds to hire a lawyer to survey their collections in great detail, to simply issue the blanket copyright and not get in trouble because of their copyrighted materials.

  3. Halloween Jack says:

    I think that the whole premise behind copyrighting editions of public domain works is that the publishers need to be able to recoup the costs of typesetting and error checking Beowulf or Beethoven’s 9th. This leads, unfortunately, to some publishers (map publishers, particularly) deliberately introducing errors into their publications as a sort of low-tech watermarking. In other words, if you wanted to make your own map, which is a representation of something that exists, you can be sued for including something that doesn’t exist.

  4. Anonymous says:

    interesting article, author was my con law prof, really smart guy…

  5. BubbleDragon says:

    This is one of my pet peeves. In fact, one website in particular has been getting under my skin with a similar copyfraud note:


  6. bukuman says:

    IANAL but I don’t think spell checking, or spell correcting, or even miss-spelling is enough to make a new ‘work’ from a copyright perspective regardless of the ‘effort’ it took. I believe there has to be substantial creative transformation before you can legitimately claim a copyright.

    If you make a new translation that is copyrightable. Another strategy is to add ‘indroductions’ or background material, or add lots of footnotes and annotations. All that new material is copyrightable but not the original public domain ‘core’ of the work – but they just claim the whole thing.

  7. Michael R. Bernstein says:

    Is there a DMCA exception for removing DRM on otherwise public domain works?

    Although Amazon does not seem to be claiming copyright on the public domain works it gets from Project Gutenberg, they *are* wrapped in noxious DRM.

  8. bukuman says:

    This is a good FAQ http://www.chillingeffects.org/anticircumvention/faq.cgi

    They list 7 exceptions to the anit-circumvention laws:

    * Libraries, archives, and educational institutions for acquisition purposes; [1201(d)]

    * Law enforcement and intelligence gathering activities; [1201(e)]

    * Reverse engineering in order to develop interoperable programs; [1201(f)]

    * Encryption Research; [1201(g)]

    * Protecting minors from material on the Internet; [1201(h)]

    * Protecting the privacy of personally identifying information; [1201(i)]

    * Security Testing [1201(j)]

    Somehow the lawmakers left out ‘gaining access to works you would otherwise have the rights to’. Breaking the anit-circumvention laws have some pretty heavy penalties.

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