by Mike Masnick
Fri, Jun 26th 2009 7:33pm
Slashdot and The Register point us to a new paper by Jason Mazzone about "copyfraud" -- or the ability of someone to claim copyright on something that is in the public domain. The issue, Mazzone points out, is that there's no penalty for falsely claiming copyright on something, so there's plenty of incentive to claim something is still covered even if it's not. Remember the story of "Happy Birthday"? While the common wisdom is that the copyright is owned by Time Warner, there's a lot of evidence that this is not the case at all, and the song is in the public domain. Oh, and that could be true of Mickey Mouse as well. But, of course, neither Disney nor Time Warner risks any punishment in claiming that they still hold the copyright to each of those... so who's going to challenge it?
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