Tuesday, April 16, 2002

Eldred v Ashcroft Morton David Goldberg works for Cowan Liebowitz and Latman, a NY law firm that represents copyright holders. He was originally going to represent the IP section of the American Bar Association in arguing for the Sonny Bono Copyright Extension act, but now it seems he's just representing himself. In this interview with Salon, he argues both that copyright extension is good, and that this is something Congress should decide, not the Supreme Court.

He's dead wrong about the former: its hard to motivate the deceased to create new works, it's hard to have created works be more created, and it's hard to claim retroactive extension is "prospective" and keep a straight face. But he's kind of right that Congress should be held accountable for bad laws--they passed them and they should change them. But Sonny Bono is clearly a case of regulatory capture and that's why we have a Constitution, and a Supreme Court.

I've been encouraged by the (temporary) death of Holling's SSSCA, the mainstream press articles on the social harm caused by current copyright law, and the Supremes agreeing to hear this case. Congress has a long history of passing, and then overturning, bad legislation.


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