Supremes Say “Yes!” to Copyright Cartel, No to Eldred and Lessig

The Supreme Court this morning released their ruling 7-2 in favor of the massive extention of copyright protection of the Sonny Bono Copyright Act, and against the challenge put forth by Eric Eldred and law professor Lawrence Lessig.

This is bad news, since it cements the ability of the entertainment cartel to keep ideas and creative works locked up, and gives them incentive to lobby Congress for even longer periods of control. The public domain may become an obsolete concept.

And, shit, what will Hollywood do when they have a dwindling number of works falling into the public domain from which to adapt scripts? They’ve made a fortune off of Shakespeare, but they’ll have to share that fortune for any 20th century author.

I think it’s time for guerrilla warfare on the intellectual property cartel and more illegal art.

For his part, Lessig writes this morning:

“It has often been said that movements gain by losing in the Supreme Court. Some feminists say it would have been better to lose Roe, because that would have built a movement in response. I have often wondered whether it would ever be possible to lose a case and yet smell victory in the defeat. I’m not yet convinced it’s possible. But if there is any good that might come from my loss, let it be the anger and passion that now gets to swell against the unchecked power that the Supreme Court has said Congress has.”

For those aching to read the decisions, here are links to them (via Lessig Blog):

  • Majority opinion by Justice Ginsberg.
  • Dissent by Justice Stevens.
  • Dissent by Justice Breyer.
  • Previously on mediageek:

  • (Supreme) Courting Favor, 10/15/02
  • Keeping Up on Larry and the Supremes, 10/9/02
  • Civil Liberties, Libertarians and Anarchists — Unlikely Bedfellows? 9/19/02

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