False Copyright Claims
One of my personal pet peeves are companies that try to assert intellectual property rights over material which has entered the public domain. It’s everywhere: museums claiming copyright over photographs and scans of artwork, movie companies that tag public domain movies with copyright warnings, and even in copy centers which refuse to copy books which have entered the public domain.
Slashdot today had an article about False Copyright Claims, calling these actions “copyfraud”, and presenting a legal analysis of the practice and how it might be remedied. While I believe that copyright terms are too long, the ability to stifle use of public domain resources through this kind of intimidation is perhaps of equal or greater seriousness.