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Fictitious entry

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A “fictitious entry” is a term used to describe false or made-up information intentionally included in reference works, maps, and various other publications. This tactic is commonly employed as a copyright[1] trap to detect plagiarism and copyright infringement. Examples include fake words in dictionaries like ‘Esquivalience’ in The New Oxford American Dictionary, or invented locations on maps, known as phantom settlements or trap streets. Fictitious entries have also been used in hoaxes and practical jokes, often to deceive readers for amusement. In a more serious context, these entries have been the subject of legal disputes, with cases such as Feist v. Rural and Nesters Map & Guide Corp. v. Hagstrom Map Co. highlighting their significance in copyright law. Furthermore, they have been used in tech industry cases and academic scrutiny checks, emphasizing their widespread application and relevance.

Terms definitions
1. copyright. Copyright is a legal term that provides the creator of an original work exclusive rights to its use and distribution, typically for a limited period of time. This concept originated in England, with the passage of the Licensing of the Press Act in 1662 and the Statute of Anne in 1710. Over the centuries, copyright laws have evolved significantly, with international treaties and conventions such as the Berne Convention and the Universal Copyright Convention standardizing these rights globally. Copyright applies to a wide variety of creative expressions including literary works, music, films, choreography, paintings, software, broadcasts, and designs. It is important to note that copyright protection requires a minimal level of originality and typically expires after a set period of time.
Fictitious entry (Wikipedia)

Fictitious or fake entries are deliberately incorrect entries in reference works such as dictionaries, encyclopedias, maps, and directories, added by the editors as copyright traps to reveal subsequent plagiarism or copyright infringement. There are more specific terms for particular kinds of fictitious entry, such as Mountweazel, trap street, paper town, phantom settlement, and nihilartikel.

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