RE: Re: Question on liability for falsely asserting

From: KAPLAN, Menachem <MK[_at_]>
Date: Wed, 05 Jul 2006 03:32:22 -0400

For those of you that are still interested in this topic, I recently came across this at Marty Schwimmer's Trademark Blog.    

Law Review Article on Copyfraud

Mazzone, Jason, "Copyfraud" . Brooklyn Law School, Legal Studies Paper No. 40 Available at SSRN
Copyfraud is everywhere. False copyright notices appear on modern reprints of Shakespeare's plays, Beethoven's piano scores, greeting card versions of Monet's Water Lilies, and even the U.S. Constitution. Archives claim blanket copyright in everything in their collections. Vendors of microfilmed versions of historical newspapers assert copyright ownership. These false copyright claims, which are often accompanied by threatened litigation for reproducing a work without the owner's permission, result in users seeking licenses and paying fees to reproduce works that are free for everyone to use. Copyright law itself creates strong incentives for copyfraud. The Copyright Act provides for no civil penalty for falsely claiming ownership of public domain materials. There is also no remedy under the Act for individuals who wrongly refrain from legal copying or who make payment for permission to copy something they are in fact entitled to use for free. While falsely claiming copyright is technically a criminal offense under the Act, prosecutions are extremely rare. These circumstances have produced fraud on an untold scale, with millions of works in the public domain deemed copyrighted, and countless dollars paid out every year in licensing fees to make copies that could be made for free. Copyfraud stifles valid forms of reproduction and undermines free speech.
Congress should amend the Copyright Act to allow private parties to bring civil causes of action for false copyright claims. Courts should extend the availability of the copyright misuse defense to prevent copyright owners from enforcing an otherwise valid copyright if they have engaged in past copyfraud. In addition, Congress should further protect the public domain by creating a national registry listing public domain works and a symbol to designate those works. Failing a congressional response, there may exist remedies under state law and through the efforts of private parties to achieve these ends." Posted by Marty on June 29, 2006 08:01 PM | Permalink

-----Mensaje original-----
De: CNI-COPYRIGHT -- Copyright & Intellectual Property [mailto:CNI-COPYRIGHT[_at_]] En nombre de Dodi Schultz Enviado el: martes, 30 de mayo de 2006 12:30 Para: CNI-COPYRIGHT -- Copyright & Intellectual Property Asunto: [CNI-(C)] Re: Question on liability for falsely asserting    

I noted that a false assertion of copyright in public-domain material doesn't actually create a copyright or remove the work from the public domain.  

Amalyah Keshet and Larry Steller point out, however, that such an assertion
can be at best profoundly discouraging to creators, and at worst can in effect prevent legitimate creators from marketing their works, because of
its chilling effect.  

I agree.  


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Received on Wed Jul 05 2006 - 11:32:22 GMT

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