Too Quick to Copyright

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Tim O'Reilly
Nov. 22, 2003 05:55 PM

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"Copyright law gives corporations an irresistible urge to claim ownership, however spurious, in everything. The Copyright Act provides no penalty for falsely claiming ownership in public domain materials, and there is no reward for catching this form of cheating. So corporations stick copyright notices everywhere. And while the U.S. Copyright Office registers copyrighted works, there is no official registry for works belonging to the public....Congress should amend the Copyright Act to make actionable false claims to copyright in the same way that consumers may sue businesses for false advertising." (From Jason Mazzone of the Brooklyn Law School via Dave Farber's IP list.)

Tim O'Reilly is the founder and CEO of O’Reilly Media Inc. Considered by many to be the best computer book publisher in the world, O'Reilly Media also hosts conferences on technology topics, including the O'Reilly Open Source Convention, Strata: The Business of Data, the Velocity Conference on Web Performance and Operations, and many others. Tim's blog, the O'Reilly Radar "watches the alpha geeks" to determine emerging technology trends, and serves as a platform for advocacy about issues of importance to the technical community. Tim is also a partner at O'Reilly AlphaTech Ventures, O'Reilly's early stage venture firm, and is on the board of Safari Books Online, PeerJ, Code for America, and Maker Media, which was recently spun out from O'Reilly Media. Maker Media's Maker Faire has been compared to the West Coast Computer Faire, which launched the personal computer revolution.

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