Copyright Traps: How Creators Protect Their Work

TLDR Creators use copyright traps, such as Mount Weasels and false information, to safeguard their work when copyrighting certain types of information is challenging. These traps catch plagiarists and protect reference products like maps and dictionaries, although they may sometimes lead to unexpected consequences.

Timestamped Summary

00:00 Creators use copyright traps, such as Mount Weasels, to protect their work when it is difficult to copyright certain types of information like directories or maps.
01:26 Creators of reference products like maps and dictionaries use copyright traps, such as false information, to catch plagiarists and protect their work.
02:42 In the 1975 New Columbia Encyclopedia, a fictional entry was created for Lillian Mount Weasel, a photographer who supposedly died in an explosion, and this entry has since become a well-known example of a copyright trap.
04:06 Esquivalence, a fake word created as a copyright trap, has found usage and now has an entry in Wictionary referencing the original definition in the New Oxford American Dictionary, while map makers use trap streets as copyright traps, such as the fake towns in Ohio that were put on the state of Michigan's official highway road map in 1978.
05:22 The town of Aglo, New York, was created as a copyright trap on a map, but someone built a store there and it became a real place, leading to a lawsuit.
06:39 Fake data can be used to embarrass those who copy you, but it doesn't provide protection under copyright law, and examples of fake data can be found in dictionaries, books, and even famous paintings.
08:02 There is a fake person listed in the Bundestag Directory with a detailed biography and even a Twitter account.
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