[WikiEN-l] GFDL lawsuits - who can sue?
saintonge at telus.net
Tue May 16 19:00:04 UTC 2006
>On 5/15/06, Anthony DiPierro <wikilegal at inbox.org> wrote:
>>Is it illegal to claim you have copyright control over something you
>>do not? I'm sure there are plently of laws against claiming you
>>*wrote* something you didn't, but if you properly attribute the
>>authors but tack on a false claim of copyright, I don't see how that
>>can be illegal.
>As I understand it (again, I am not in any way a lawyer), the relevant
>parts of U.S. copyright law are:
> (c) Fraudulent Copyright Notice. - Any person who, with
> fraudulent intent, places on any article a notice of copyright or
> words of the same purport that such person knows to be false, or
> who, with fraudulent intent, publicly distributes or imports for
> public distribution any article bearing such notice or words that
> such person knows to be false, shall be fined not more than $2,500.
> (d) Fraudulent Removal of Copyright Notice. - Any person who,
> with fraudulent intent, removes or alters any notice of copyright
> appearing on a copy of a copyrighted work shall be fined not more
> than $2,500.
> (e) False Representation. - Any person who knowingly makes a
> false representation of a material fact in the application for
> copyright registration provided for by section 409, or in any
> written statement filed in connection with the application, shall
> be fined not more than $2,500.
"Fraudulent intent" is a key element to these provisions. That brings
it all into criminal law where the standards of proof are much higher.
A lot of people who put up these notices have the good faith belief that
they are correct in doing so, and as I stated before they may still have
copyright on the layout of the page, but nothing else.
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