A list of articles concerning the case
By Lawrence Lessig, Kathleen M. Sullivan, Alan B. Morrison, Edward Lee, Charles Nesson, Jonathan L. Zittrain, William W. Fisher, Charles Fried, Geoffrey Stewart, Donald Ayer, Robert Ducatman, and Daniel Bromberg
George A. Akerlof, Kenneth J. Arrow, Timothy F. Bresnahan, James M. Buchanan, Ronald H. Coase, Linda R. Cohen, Milton Friedman, Jerry R. Green, Robert W. Hahn, Thomas W. Hazlett, C. Scott Hemphill, Robert E. Litan, Roger G. Noll, Richard Schmalensee, Steven Shavell, Hal R. Varian, and Richard J. Zeckhauser
Jessica Litman, Dennis S. Karjala, Keith Aoki, Stephen R. Barnett, Margreth Barrett, Ann Bartow, Tom W. Bell, Paul Schiff Berman, Dan L. Burk, Margaret Chon, Richard Chused, Julie E. Cohen , Kenneth D. Crews, Robert Denicola, F. Jay Dougherty, Rochelle C. Dreyfuss, Christine Haight Farley, Eric M. Freedman, Laura N. Gasaway, Shubha Ghosh, Llewellyn Joseph Gibbons, Paul J. Heald, Steven D. Jamar, John Kidwell, Robert A. Kreiss, Lew Kurlantzick, Marshall A Leaffer, Joseph P. Liu, Lydia Pallas Loren, Michael J. Madison, Peter W. Martin, Willajeanne McLean, Charles R. McManis, Robert P. Merges, Michael J. Meurer, Neil Weinstock Netanel, Francis M. Nevins, Dawn C. Nunziato, Robert L. Oakley, Ruth Gana Okediji, Maureen A. O'Rourke, David G. Post, Margaret Jane Radin, R. Anthony Reese, John Rothchild, Pamela Samuelson, David J. Seipp, David E. Shipley, David E. Sorkin, J. Russell VerSteeg, Eugene Volokh, Sarah K. Wiant, Diane L. Zimmerman
American Association of Law Libraries, American Historical Association, American Library Association, Art Libraries Society of North America, Association for Recorded Sound Collections, Association of Research Libraries, Council on Library and Information Resources, International Association of Jazz Record Collectors, Medical Library Association, Midwest Archives Conference, Music Library Association, National Council on Public History, Society for American Music, Society of American Archivists, and Special Libraries Association
National Writers Union, Charles Baxter, Wendell Berry, Guy Davenport, William Gass, Patricia Hampl, Eva Hoffman, Ursula K. Leguin, Barry Lopez, Peter Matthiessen, Jack Miles, David Foster Wallace, Lawrence Golan, Ronald Hall, Richard Kapp, John Mcdonough, The United States Public Policy Committee for the Association of Computing Machinery, Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility, The Apache Software Foundation, The Domain Name Rights Coalition, The Center for The Public Domain, Public Knowledge, The Digital Future Coalition, The Public Domain Research Corporation, The Center for Book Culture, Litnet, The Computer and Communications Industry Association, and The Consumer Electronics Association
The Supreme Court has announced it will hear our challenge to the Copyright Term Extension Act. Thanks from the Openlaw team to everyone who has helped us get here.
LawMeme reports on Yale Moot Court's Eldred v. Ashcroft: Eldred wins. Petitioners' winning brief, Chimene Keitner and Travis LeBlanc.
April 14, 2002 -- The ABA Board of Governors has voted not to file an amicus brief opposing our position. The Chair of the Intellectual Property Section had urged the board to support perpetual copyright.
February 25, 2002 -- This case could reinvigorate the public domain. If you intend to file an amicus brief in Eldred v. Ashcroft, please contact Jonathan Zittrain, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Petitioners consent to the filing of all amicus briefs.
The role of an amicus brief (PDF)
Progressive Intellectual Property Law Association and Union for the Public Domain amicus brief, Professor Michael H. Davis
Outline of College Art Association amicus
Contacts: Lawrence Lessig, Charles Nesson, Jonathan Zittrain, Geoffrey Stewart.
It is fitting and proper that your creations be protected by law for your lifetime and a reasonable period afterward. But there is no justification for what Congress has been doing: transforming a limited monopoly into an unlimited one. Creativity and culture are enhanced by having works ultimately become public domain, particularly with the advent of the Internet.... The high court would be right to rule that enough is enough and should knock down that 1998 law.Drawing a line on copyright, St. Petersburg Times, August 21, 2001
[T]he founders included the term "for limited times" to alert Congress that copyright protection is not permanent. The public at-large has an interest in gaining access to, enjoying and building on the works of artists, authors, scientists and inventors.Copyright Craziness, Washington Post August 17, 2001
As a policy matter, [Eldred v. Ashcroft] isn't difficult at all. Vast quantities of creative material shouldn't be perpetually owned privately, and Congress's repeated extensions of protection to copyright holders have shredded any meaningful limit. The plaintiffs plan to ask the Supreme Court to examine the issue. It would be well worth the justices' time.
The Copyright Clause was intended "to be the engine of free expression." Harper & Row Publishers, Inc. v. Nation Enters. To that end, copyright laws have been enacted [to] achieve the three main goals: the promotion of learning, the protection of the public domain, and the granting of an exclusive right to the author.
The second goal of the Copyright Clause is to ensure that works enter the public domain after an author's rights, exclusive, but limited, have expired. Parallel to the patent regime, the limited time period of the copyright serves the dual purpose of ensuring that the work will enter the public domain and ensuring that the author has received "a fair return for [her] labors." This limited grant "is intended to motivate the creative activity of authors . . . by the provision of a special reward, and to allow the public access to the products of their genius after the limited period of exclusive control has expired." The public is protected in two ways: the grant of a copyright encourages authors to create new works, ... and the limitation ensures that the works will eventually enter the public domain, which protects the public's right of access and use.
The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals lifted the injunction on The Wind Done Gone, calling the copyright injunction an ``extraordinary and drastic remedy'' that ``amounts to an unlawful prior restraint in violation of the First Amendment.'' See the Eleventh Circuit's Order (PDF).
So, the First Amendment constrains copyrights in the Eleventh Circuit, while in D.C., "copyrights are categorically immune from First Amendment scrutiny." Eldred v. Reno