October 10, 2002

Eldred v. Ashcroft, part II

Here are two thumbnail sketches of the copyright issue argued yesterday before the Supreme Court. The argument made by the plaintiffs (the good guys, in my view) is that if the law stands, it sets a precedent which would allow Congress to extend and keep extending copyright protection for creative works in perpetuity. One of the plaintiffs, as explained on the News Hour last night, is a choir director looking forward to being able to acquire sheet music (on which copyright was due to expire) free on the 'Net which she couldn't otherwise afford for her singers; this was precluded by the 1998 Copyright Extension Act. (As an aside, that act is formally named for the late Rep. Sonny Bono; do you want his estate to receive royalties for "I Got You Babe" through 2070?)

The Berkman Center for Internet & Society is a research outfit with which counsel for the plaintiffs is affiliated; they have many 'Net research programs ongoing.

Posted by Linkmeister at October 10, 2002 03:35 PM