Misusing Copyright Laws in Medicine

At Pajamas Media Dalrymple reports on the assertion of copyright on a widely-used medical questionnaire:
The Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) is a questionnaire that has been used by doctors throughout the world for more than thirty years to test the cognitive function of those suspected to suffer from dementia. It is very simple and quick to administer, consisting of 30 items, and must by now have been used millions, if not hundreds of millions, of times.
It is only in 2000, 25 years after it was first published, that the authors, or inventors, of the MMSE tried to assert their copyright….Many doctors in all parts of the world have photocopied the questionnaire hundreds of times. In strict law they may be guilty of having infringed copyright and therefore liable, in theory, to penalties according to the copyright laws of their country. In the United States, unwitting infringement of copyright carries a fine of up to $30,000, and willful infringement up to $150,000, with the possibility of a prison sentence to boot.

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