Copyfraud Law and Legal Definition

Copyfraud refers to the use of false claims of copyright so as to control a work which is not under one's legal control.

Copyfraud includes the following:

1. Claiming copyright ownership of public domain material

2. Imposition by a copyright owner of restrictions beyond what the law allows.

3. Claiming copyright ownership on the basis of ownership of copies or archives.

4. Claiming copyright ownership by publishing a public domain work in a different medium.

Copyfraud is very prevalent because the laws criminalizing false statements about copyrights are very weak. There is a lack of enforcement of such laws. Copyfraud is very common because only very few expertise are competent to give legal advice on the copyright status.