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View Full Version : Eldred and the Copyright Barons

Jeff Kirvin
04-22-2002, 06:01 AM
<a href="http://www.writingonyourpalm.net/column020422.htm">http://www.writingonyourpalm.net/column020422.htm</a><br /><br />Has Congress overextended its power by extending copyright to unreasonable lengths? The United States Supreme Court will ask that very question this year. Here's a look at the issues.<br /><br />[The Congress shall have power] "To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries;"<br />-- Article I, Section 8, Clause 8 of the United States Constitution<br /><br />"Intellectual property law assures authors the right to their original expression, but encourages others to build freely on the ideas that underlie it. This result is neither unfair nor unfortunate: It is the means by which intellectual property law advances the progress of science and art. We give authors certain exclusive rights, but in exchange we get a richer public domain... Nothing today, likely nothing since we tamed fire, is genuinely new: Culture, like science and technology, grows by accretion, each new creator building on the works of those who came before. Overprotection stifles the very creative forces it's supposed to nurture."<br />-- Judge Alex Kozinski, United States Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals<br /><br />"There is nothing new under the sun."<br />-- Ecclesiastes 1:9<br /><br />This year the United States Supreme Court will hear Eldred vs Ashcroft, a case that could have profound effect on the nature of copyright itself. Eric Eldred used to run a website devoted to providing public domain books in HTML, including acclaimed "editions" of Nathaniel Hawthorne. These hyperlinked, cross-referenced works were "derivative works", but unique and valuable in that they allowed for a new way of looking at old books.<br /><br />Read the rest at <a href="http://www.writingonyourpalm.net/column020422.htm">Writing On Your Palm</a>.

Timothy Rapson
04-22-2002, 12:53 PM

"There is nothing new under the sun."
-- Ecclesiastes 1:9

HREF="http://www.writingonyourpalm.net/column020422.htm" target="_blank">Writing On Your Palm</A>.

Did you get permission from the author to use that quote? 8)