Monday, September 30, 2002

Business Week has a story about the upcoming US Supreme Court oral arguments on the Mickey Mouse copyright extension law that extended copyright terms to life plus 70 years. It says:

That issue is whether Congress has the right to extend copyright law if the change does not promote the "progress of science and useful arts" as stated in Article 1, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution. ...

The case is a crucible, not only for the CTEA, but for all future copyright laws. And Lessig's strategy is both bold and fraught with risk. "What the Supreme Court must answer is whether the intention of copyright is to protect economic value or to promote science and the arts," says Peter Jaszi, a professor of copyright law at American University Law School. If the court overturns the law, it could call into question a host of other unpopular laws, especially the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. But if the law is upheld, it will be a huge setback for digital-rights activists.

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