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Read an article that claims Banksy can't use copyright because he's anonymous.

Is there any legal basis for that? I know of code copyright by anonymous people in major linux distributions..

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@joeyh No. At least, not in countries that have implemented Berne which is almost all of them. Thanks to the Berne Convention copyright still automatic regardless of if something is published with an author name or not. The expiration of the copyright for anonymous or pseudonymous works is different as described in this link but the it does indeed still exist.

wipo.int/treaties/en/text.jsp?

Seems this Banksy thing is being badly reported or just the parties involved don't understand copyright..

@jxself @joeyh The US didn't apply the Berne convention till 1989 so a lot of “common knowledge” about copyright law is left over from before that. It was quite a big change - things like no longer having to explicitly claim copyright - so there's still confusion.

@joeyh Maybe not in a sense that Banksy’s work is not legally protected but in a sense that enforcing that copyright in court means losing anonymity?

@joeyh Certainly not under US law:

> Anonymous Works, Pseudonymous Works, and Works Made for Hire.—In the case of an anonymous work, a pseudonymous work, or a work made for hire, the copyright endures for a term of 95 years from the year of its first publication, or a term of 120 years from the year of its creation, whichever expires first.

copyright.gov/title17/92chap3.

@joeyh it might not be the copyright but the right to use/own the works. That's where it usually gets unstuck.

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