Copyright Fraud and Misuse

Andrew Raff
July 17, 2006

Two law review articles of interest:

Jason Mazzone, Copyfraud: "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."

Brett Frischmann , Daniel Moylan, The Evolving Doctrine of Copyright Misuse: "Copyright misuse is a common law defense to copyright infringement. In contrast with defenses addressing the nature of copyrighted material or the defendant's conduct, copyright misuse focuses on the plaintiff's conduct and determines whether the plaintiff is entitled to enforce her rights. This alternative focus orients misuse differently. Copyright misuse regulates copyright owners' use of their rights, polices the boundaries set by Congress in the copyright statute, and protects important public interests. "

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