Publishing Fake News Violates Patent Law?

from the lost-in-translation? dept

I’m wondering if part of this news report was screwed up in translation, but an out of work Japanese engineer has been arrested for violating patent law after posting a fake news story online made to look like it was from Yahoo News. The article is confusing for two reasons. First, why is this a patent issue? Trademark would seem more accurate — so perhaps either there was a mistake in the translation or Japanese patent law also covers trademark issues. Second, is this really that big of a deal? People post fake news stories all the time, and it’s usually covered as a “parody.” The article notes how many times people visited this article, but since it appears the guy didn’t get the story actually published on Yahoo News, it would seem pretty obvious to anyone who looked at the URL that it was a fake story. It makes sense that Yahoo would be upset and ask him to take it down, but does it deserve being arrested? Update: Showing just how easy it is to screw this up, someone pointed out, accurately, that it’s probably more of a trademark issue than a copyright one, as I originally stated.

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