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Isn't this a standard method for a 'poor-mans copywrite' in cartography?

"A spokesman from the service told Australian newspapers that while some map makers intentionally include phantom streets to prevent copyright infringements, that was was not usually the case with nautical charts because it would reduce confidence in them."

Amazing what you learn if you read the article.

The creation of so called 'Trap Streets' is well known - http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Copyright_Easter_Eggs

However putting a non-existent island on a Marine chart used for navigation is a few steps above that. It looks like it's the result of a mistake, a mistake that was copied far and wide.

Yeah, that's the ticket... guess I wasn't thinking about the requirements for using said charts for effective navigation. I was just wondering if this would precipitate infringement claims once the point of origin is identified. As in it's an accidental "Trap Island" but it's caught some rubes nonetheless...

Except that it never appeared on the official australian and french maps. If you use Google Maps instead of an official navigation chart for navigation, you probably don't deserve better...

That was my first thought, although i'm not sure why you refer to them as 'poor-mans copyright', seems like a pretty smart way of adding an additional layer of protection in cases of plagiarism dispute.

These are also referred to as mountweasel's or 'nihil articles' (http://www.omniglot.com/blog/?p=6187) and turn up in dictionaries, maps, charts and other reference works.

See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fictitious_entry for a long list, including fictitious german politician Jakob Maria Mierscheid in most official parliamentary listings.

> although i'm not sure why you refer to them as 'poor-mans copyright'

just a misunderstanding, I was searching my brain for the phrases you mention and out popped 'poor mans copyright'[1]. You are indeed correct this is a totally different thing and "Mountweasels" (fictitious artifacts) are a very sound method of establishing the originality of certain work... I have to wonder if "Mountweasels" hasn't krept into our language in just such a manner though!

[1: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poor_man%27s_copyright]

> copywrite

'Copyright', as it governs the right to copy.

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