Weblog:   Too Quick to Copyright
Subject:   Unrealistic and Very Lawyerly
Date:   2003-11-29 08:00:49
From:   anonymous2
Response to: Unrealistic and Very Lawyerly

Re: Mike Perry's commentary:

Mr. Perry's argument seems to support the proposal for making false claims to copyright actionable.

Copyright does not reward mere exertion, only original creativity. It doesn't matter how much time and effort you spend reproducing and proof-reading an electronic copy (or any other kind of copy) of somebody else's original work--copyright doesn't reward you, it only rewards the original author of the work. You might think it is in the public interest for you to spend the time and energy re-publishing a public domain work, but the Copyright Act squarely rejects that approach, and so you shouldn't use copyright to leverage ownership and claim rewards.

You also misrepresent the original proposal. The proposal for making false copyright claims actionable did not suggest making them criminal. Like under the Lanham Act and under state false advertising laws, private individuals would have a civil cause of action against publishers who claim copyright falsely. Rather than the government prosuecting violators, the general public would be empowered to protect its own domain.