Prisoners Figure Copyright Abuse Is A Way To Get Out Of Jail

from the a-sign-of-the-times dept

Well, we've seen all kinds of companies abuse copyright law for a variety of purposes, and it seemed only a matter of time until outright criminals caught on as well. A group of inmates apparently copyrighted their names and then demanded millions of dollars from the prison they were in for using their names without permission. The claims were sent to the warden of the prison and when he didn't pay up, the prisoners were able to file claims against his property -- and then hired someone to seize the warden's property and freeze his bank accounts. At this point they then demanded to be released from prison before they would return the property. Instead, they were charged with extortion and "conspiring to impede the duties of federal prison officials." While the story is amusing, it does show how copyright law is being perceived these days. As intellectual property lawyers push more and more ridiculous positions concerning copyright law, people are beginning to realize that it can be used as a hammer for all kinds of ridiculous lawsuits that have absolutely nothing to do with creating incentives for the creation of new content.

Filed Under: copyright abuse


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  1. identicon
    Roy, 22 Aug 2007 @ 4:37am

    1. A number of FBI agents are attorneys (it used to be only law school graduates and accountants could even be an agent).

    2. A lien can be registered against a person's house with minimal official-looking forms. The Freemen and similar groups in the 1980's and 90's used to do this to police officers and judges (and others who pissed them off). The person owning the house didn't even know about it until he went to sell or re-fi the house.

    The lien does not automatically ensure that the lienholder will be paid, just that the homeowner can not sell the property without going to court.

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