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Kahle v Ashcroft Appeal Filed

samzenpus posted more than 9 years ago | from the fight-the-power dept.

Media 359

An anonymous reader writes "Brewster Kahle of the Internet Archive has announced that the appeal of Kahle vs. Ashcroft has been filed. Here is the appeal. Kahle vs. Ashcroft concerns the constitutionality of changing from an opt-in copyright system (which existed for almost 200 years in the US) to the current opt-out system, where every doodle on a piece of paper is copyrighted for 95 years. Yes, they used the word doodle in their appeal. Previous stories here, here, and here."

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359 comments

Doodle? (4, Funny)

Ghoser777 (113623) | more than 9 years ago | (#11464205)

Sounds like what the judges will be doing while they hear the case :(

Re:Doodle? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11464264)

Doodle? Don't you insensitve clods know they're talking about DoodbleBob from the SpongeBob episode "Frankendoodle"? A little kid drew DoodleBob, and Nickelodeon stole the design. Thanks, Nick. >=(

Do people doodle as a work for hire? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11464223)

Since, you know, otherwise doodle copyrights would be life plus 75.

A PERFECT EXAMPLE: MST3k (1)

Amsterdam Vallon (639622) | more than 9 years ago | (#11464224)

MST3k is a great example.

I helped develop and design it.

But guess what.

Who the hell owns it NOW?!

Re:A PERFECT EXAMPLE: MST3k (1)

fimbulvetr (598306) | more than 9 years ago | (#11464253)

Rhino owns it, right?
BTW, saw the movie two weeks ago, laughed my a** off (This island earth). I bought volume 6 recently, nowhere near as entertaining. Anyone have a list of the good volumes and/or episodes?
I remember watching it when I was little and it was on PBS on sunday mornings, but then it wasn't near as funny.

Wrong, sparky (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11464511)

MST3K isn't that old, so you're still "little".

And it was never on PBS. It was originally on the science channel and moved to the Comedy channel.

And the 2nd guy wasn't funny.

Correct me if I'm wrong... (3, Informative)

physicsphairy (720718) | more than 9 years ago | (#11464225)

But I thought it was 70 years after the death of the author (as opposed to the cited 95) or is that just for literature?

Correct me if I'm wrong...Type Plainly. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11464275)

Before this whole discussion picks up steam.

http://www.nolo.com/ [nolo.com]

Is a plain english site for some legal issues. Type copyright into the search engine.

Re:Correct me if I'm wrong... (5, Informative)

Kiryat Malachi (177258) | more than 9 years ago | (#11464283)

Individuals: Life of the author + 70 years ( 302(a))

Joint Works: Life of the last surviving author + 70 years ( 302(b))

Anonymous Works, Pseudonymous Works (where identity is not revealed) and Works Made for Hire: 95 years from publication or 120 years from creation, whichever expires first ( 302(c))

Anonymous or Pseudonymous Works (where identity is revealed by filing): Life of the author + 70 years or life of the last surviving author +70 years ( 302(c))

Taken from here. [ttu.edu]

Re:Correct me if I'm wrong... (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11464377)

Taken from a 1999 page, good idea.

Laura's always been the go to gal on this one...

WHEN U.S. WORKS PASS INTO THE PUBLIC DOMAIN [unc.edu]

anon cause i think i've whored this link b4..

Re:Correct me if I'm wrong... (5, Informative)

Kiryat Malachi (177258) | more than 9 years ago | (#11464514)

A 1999 page is completely accurate when it comes to copyright *duration*, as terms have not been altered since 1998.

In fact, mine has significantly more (correct, for the record) detail regarding anonymously created works. In addition, Lolly is incorrect - works published between 1951 and 1977 all receive the 28+67 extension, not 64-77 as she claims.

It's all in here [copyright.gov] . Which, if you had read it recently, you would know has not been amended since the Bono Act in 1998.

Re:Correct me if I'm wrong... (4, Insightful)

AstroDrabb (534369) | more than 9 years ago | (#11464480)

While I know what you say is true, _every_ time I read it I can't help but want to vomit. I personally cannot belive that the "representitives" of the US population has been totaly bought off that every copyright is not life+70. I never new that a copyright owner could benefit from a copyright for 70 years after his/her death. How can anyone benefit from something for 70 years after their death? Copyright wasn't create to give copyright owners the power to give their children and their grand-children such benefits. The only person that should benefit from a copyright is the original copyright owner, and IMO, that benefit should not last more than 10 years.

Since when can the dead benefit from finacial gain? Heck, since when should someone have exlusive rights to work they release to the _public_ for their entire life? We live in sad, sad times. I would love to see copyright and patents drop down to 10 years or so. While I don't agree with software patents, I would have a _lot_ less to complain about if software patents dropped to 5 years or so.

Sadly, we will never see these days since our _whole_ government (both republican and democrat) are pretty much paid for by big business or special interest goups.

Re:Correct me if I'm wrong... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11464646)

>The only person that should benefit from a copyright is the original copyright owner, and IMO, that benefit should not last more than 10 years.

Ok, I'll correct you since apparently you are spouting off with no real stake in this issue.

I am a professional photographer [lumigraphics.com] who still sells images older than 10 years. Are you claiming that I should just hand those photos over to anyone who wants to reproduce them? Even though I'm the one who put the time and effort into taking them, even though I rely on having a nice back catalog to help sell my current work?

Sorry but I strongly disagree with both short copyright limits AND and opt-in system- I'm glad that my work gets automatic protection.

Don't make the mistake of thinking that only huge conglomerates own valuable copyrights!

Re:Correct me if I'm wrong... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11464657)

Disney is still around.

I must say I cannot agree with 10 years for any sort of creative work. Led Zeppelin DEFINTELY still deserves every $18.99 for Physical Graffiti.

Re:Correct me if I'm wrong... (1)

Ki Master George (768244) | more than 9 years ago | (#11464329)

That's true (someone else has a more thourough reply), but it's 70 years after the author's death, or 95 years, whichever is longer (I think).

Re:Correct me if I'm wrong... (1)

svnt (697929) | more than 9 years ago | (#11464376)

From Ethics for the Information Age, Quinn:

Works created on or after January 1, 1978 are protected for the author's lifetime plus 70 years after the author's death. If the work is a work made for hire, the length of protection is 95 years from the date of publication or 120 years from the date of creation, whichever is less.[145]

Re:Correct me if I'm wrong... (2, Funny)

flimnap (751001) | more than 9 years ago | (#11464575)

No, all works produced in the USA are eligible for perpetual copyright on the installment plan [wikipedia.org] .

As long as Mickey Mouse is in "danger" of falling into the public domain, you can bet the copyright term will be extended.

Doodle (0)

mboverload (657893) | more than 9 years ago | (#11464230)

What is really sad is THATS TRUE. When did this change?

Re:Doodle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11464281)

I believe it was 1979

Re:Doodle (1)

mboverload (657893) | more than 9 years ago | (#11464322)

Was it the Disney Mikey (I really dont care how its spelled) Mouse thing?

Damn corrput legislative and exectutive branches. That means the judicial branch is 1vs2, which is not really fair at all. Since the judicial branch is the one last government intitution that speaks (mostly) truth, the other two branches are trying to limit their power. Damn, America is freaking screwed

(DISCLAIMER: I'm an American, so dont bitch about me being French)

Re:Doodle (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11464345)

How about we just bitch about you being an ignorant fucking idiot?

Re:Doodle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11464553)

Grandparent poster is wrong, it was 1989.

The Mickey-Mouse thing was about the extension of copyright (Mickey Mouse, having being created in 1928, would've entered the Public Domain in 2003 under the old 75-year term). This was 'remedied' by the Sony Bono Copyright Extension act, named for the alpine hero of Congress.

You mean... (5, Funny)

Frogbert (589961) | more than 9 years ago | (#11464232)

You mean this comment is my own property for 95 years just because I wrote it...

Stay back fools and don't quote me. You'd better believe I'll protect my rights!

Re:You mean... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11464289)

Stay back fools and don't quote me. You'd better believe I'll protect my rights! (c) 2005 Anonymous Coward

now it is..

Re:You mean... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11464321)

Sorry... I believe there's prior art...

Re:You mean... (2, Insightful)

sepluv (641107) | more than 9 years ago | (#11464318)

Aah, but you're just an individual and don't have enough money to buy^Wpersuade judges and politicians, so it is different.

Re:You mean... (1)

einhverfr (238914) | more than 9 years ago | (#11464427)

Aah, but you're just an individual and don't have enough money to buy^Wpersuade judges and politicians, so it is different.

Right, so if you live another 25 years, it is still 95 years. After all since you are just an individual, your copyright term is different: Life + 70. Sounds like a prison sentence doesn't it?

Re:You mean... (2, Funny)

sepluv (641107) | more than 9 years ago | (#11464465)

You copied my comment (and I am really Bill Gates).

All your base are belong...

Re:You mean... (1)

einhverfr (238914) | more than 9 years ago | (#11464585)

You copied my comment....

Fair enough, but I suspect that you will have a hard time convincing a court that quoting one sentence in order to answer a point is anything other than fair use... IANAL, though....

Re:You mean... (4, Informative)

Leo McGarry (843676) | more than 9 years ago | (#11464431)

Your comment was fucking hilarious. Mind if I use it as a springboard to make a point?

Copyright --which, just so we're all on the same page, is the legal recognition of natural property rights --does not prohibit quotation. To the contrary, the law specifically states that quoting a work for the purposes of commenting on it is not a violation of the work's creator's property rights.

That seems to be a point on which ever so many people have been misled. I figure it couldn't hurt to be explicitly clear about it.

Re:You mean... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11464467)

Interesting. So if I 'quote' a
song off of my CD (copy it and then prepend
and append quote marks, and follow it with a
commentary) thats ok? Sounds like the
basis for a new music sharing oops
I mean quoting system to me....

Re:You mean... (2, Informative)

Leo McGarry (843676) | more than 9 years ago | (#11464506)

Yes, that's exactly right. For instance, if you were to produce a podcast where you review new music, and as part of that effort you were to include snippets of songs followed by your opinion of the album, that would be totally, 100%, hands-down, no-question legal.

However, if you were to reproduce whole songs, or to do so with not particular intention of commenting or offering criticism, that would probably not be legal.

Re:You mean... (1)

VidEdit (703021) | more than 9 years ago | (#11464655)

"Yes, that's exactly right. For instance, if you were to produce a podcast where you review new music, and as part of that effort you were to include snippets of songs followed by your opinion of the album, that would be totally, 100%, hands-down, no-question legal."
Really? "No-question legal?" I'll bet the MPAA, for example, will disagree with you. Lets try a movie version of your idea. Why not take your camcorder to the nearest movie theater or rip a DVD and use snippets of the film alongside a thoughtful review?

I'm sure that you will find that the "right" to quote copyrighted material is not one that the movie industry, or the Federal Government, agrees exists.

This is one example of why we need copyright reform.

Re:You mean... (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 9 years ago | (#11464498)

So, if you have a torrent tracker that is set up much like Slashdot is - where you have seeded torrents (instead of articles) and each torrent has the ability to recieve and display comments from visitors about that specific torrent's book/movie/album/game, it's no longer in violation of copyright? Because people are accessing the supplied copyrighted content for the purpose of "commenting on the creative work".

Re:You mean... (1)

Leo McGarry (843676) | more than 9 years ago | (#11464530)

No, because in that case you would be distributing entire copies of works. The law allows you to quote for the purpose of commenting. It doesn't allow you to duplicate entirely.

However, if you were to hand out copies of a work in a classroom as part of a lesson, that would be legal.

Re:You mean... (3, Interesting)

DeepHurtn! (773713) | more than 9 years ago | (#11464500)

The problem usually comes from vague definitions -- what exactly constitutes a significant portion of a work, for example? This ambiguity has real repurcussions. For example, scholarly articles and research in popular music are often unable to quote the lyrics of the songs under examination, even though one would think that would fall under comment and criticism.

And yet (2, Insightful)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 9 years ago | (#11464540)

When you use modern technology to do the exact same thing as quotation, there is no protection for the action. That's a key place where modern copyright law has gone wrong, IMHO. If I copy a paragraph from a book and quote it in another book, nobody sweats it (in fact, it's expected). But if I quote a piece of a beat from a song in another song, or a segment of film or TV in a video art piece, I'm expected to get the permission of the copyright owner (and often to pay lots of $$$, if they agree to let me use it at all).

Re:You mean... (1)

bersl2 (689221) | more than 9 years ago | (#11464552)

Nobody understands copyright, except for those who realise how complex it is (like us and the "experts").

Re:You mean... (1)

VidEdit (703021) | more than 9 years ago | (#11464556)

"To the contrary, the law specifically states that quoting a work for the purposes of commenting on it is not a violation of the work's creator's property rights."
Unfortunately, the reality of this is different. Already, many individuals know that a certain litigious religious organization regularly sues people who quote and comment on the "copyrighted" religious works of its founder.

Secondly, the DCMA makes no "quotation exemption" to allow one to break DRM so that you may quote a copyrighted source. If the poster had used any kind of DRM, then quoting him would be a violation of the Digital Melenium Copyright Act.

Re:You mean... (2, Insightful)

mati (114154) | more than 9 years ago | (#11464689)

Perhaps I misread your phrasing, but my understanding has always been that copyright is not the legal recognition of natural rights, but rather a legal fiction devised to further the progress of the useful sciences and arts and thus society as a whole.

Certainly, there's nothing natural about not being able to copy a music CD...

Re:You mean... (2, Informative)

sytxr (704471) | more than 9 years ago | (#11464450)

You mean this comment is my own property for 95 years just because I wrote it...


Stay back fools and don't quote me. You'd better believe I'll protect my rights!

You have forgotten about fair use.

Abj GUVF vf gur jnl gb ryvzvangr snve hfr...
Naq LBH orggre qb erfgenva sebz dhbgvat guvf Grkg. Npghnyyl, ol rira ernqvat vg, lbh ner evtug abj va ivbyngvba bs gur QZPN naq yvnoyr sbe olcnffvat bs pbcl cebgrpgvba. Rkprcg vs lbh ner hfvat gur "ZlQvtvgnyErfgevpgvbaZnantre" fbsgjner gb ivrj vg va juvpu pnfr 10 Qbyynef unir whfg orra nhgbzngvpnyyl qrqhpgrq sebz lbhe nppbhag!

Re:You mean... (1)

sytxr (704471) | more than 9 years ago | (#11464468)

What i meant was:
You mean this comment is my own property for 95 years just because I wrote it...


Stay back fools and don't quote me. You'd better believe I'll protect my rights!

You have forgotten about fair use.
[MyDigitalRestrictionsManagement Restrictions="0e0018200a" cipher="ROT13"]
Abj GUVF vf gur jnl gb ryvzvangr snve hfr...
Naq LBH orggre qb erfgenva sebz dhbgvat guvf Grkg. Npghnyyl, ol rira ernqvat vg, lbh ner evtug abj va ivbyngvba bs gur QZPN naq yvnoyr sbe olcnffvat bs pbcl cebgrpgvba. Rkprcg vs lbh ner hfvat gur "ZlQvtvgnyErfgevpgvbaZnantre" fbsgjner gb ivrj vg va juvpu pnfr 10 Qbyynef unir whfg orra nhgbzngvpnyyl qrqhpgrq sebz lbhe nppbhag!
[/MyDigitalRestrictionsManagement]

Re:You mean... (2, Funny)

Seumas (6865) | more than 9 years ago | (#11464476)

You mean this comment is my own property for 95 years just because I wrote it...

Stay back fools and don't quote me. You'd better believe I'll protect my rights!

You have forgotten about fair use.


Don't you dare try to call distribution of his copyrighted comments to tens of thousands of strangers over the internet with the "fair use" of sharing his comments with one of your friends, for purpose of research or commentary! HOW DARE YOU!!!

Re:You mean... (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 9 years ago | (#11464457)

As I understand it, every creative work is copyrighted the moment it is created. You don't have to pay the cash and fill out the forms with the government just to have a copyright on something.

The difference here is that you can prosecute copyright violations more harshly if the copyright is registered than if it is not. If it is registered with the government, you can typically sue for more than just damages. If there is no *registered* copyright on your creation, you can still take the violator go court - but you'll only be allowed to sue for the actual cash-damage they've done to you.

I'm not an IP lawyer, of course. This is just based on my comprehension of online legal resources after researching for a couple situations I've been in and needed to enforce my rights.

You mean... (1)

jimi the hippie (725322) | more than 9 years ago | (#11464527)

You mean this comment is my own property for 95 years just because I wrote it... Stay back fools and don't quote me. You'd better believe I'll protect my rights!

95 Years seems about right (4, Funny)

svvampy (576225) | more than 9 years ago | (#11464233)

I'm sure that's how long it will take this case to get through the court system. If it manages to survive it's conception.

Innie or Outie? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11464235)

"Kahle vs. Ashcroft concerns the constitutionality of changing from an opt-in copyright system (which existed for almost 200 years in the US) to the current opt-out system, where every doodle on a piece of paper is copyrighted for 95 years. Yes, they used the word doodle in their appeal. Previous stories here, here, and here.""

Does the constitution really indicate a preference?

Re:Innie or Outie? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11464300)

"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"
~Article 1 Section 8 [Text reproduction from http://www.usconstitution.net/const.html]

So no, but most reasonable people (by my definition of reasonable-- if you don't fit, check yourself) can see the current version does not really fit. Notice its only Authors and useful art (so some pritty picture does not fit). Further, limited time would tend towards being used by people alive at the time, thus actually promoting arts and sciences.

Re:Innie or Outie? (1)

mosb1000 (710161) | more than 9 years ago | (#11464473)

It's to "Authors and Inventors", and it doesn't say that they should give the right's exclusively to authors of useful Art, it says the purpose of the provision is "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts". This means that they might have been thinking that it would apply to all arts and inventions, (since the definition of "useful" is somewhat subjective) in order to promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts.

And I don't know about your limited time argument, you can profit from something now based on it's future value, so extending copyright after the authors death is not necessary unreasonable.

Re:Innie or Outie? (2, Insightful)

cpt kangarooski (3773) | more than 9 years ago | (#11464490)

No, it's authors and science. And in 1789, when that clause was written, science meant something like general knowledge. So yeah, a pretty picture is perfectly within the bounds of copyrightable subject matter.

The useful arts are the subject matter of patents. Useful arts are useful technical knowledge. The idea of an art being a kind of skill area is still common in the patent field (e.g. persons having ordinary skill in the art) and even in some idioms in common use, such as 'state of the art technology.'

Well if that's the case (1)

Mad Merlin (837387) | more than 9 years ago | (#11464241)

So does that whoever made the first post ever on Slashdot can sue everybody else after him for copyright infringement, since he owns the contentless post?

Maybe I should call my lawyer...

If it ain't broke... (5, Insightful)

LewsTherinKinslayer (817418) | more than 9 years ago | (#11464261)

I personally fail to see any reason to change mid-stride like this anyways. Was the old opt-in copyright law in some way broken?

If you want something copyrighted, you should be responsibile to take care of it. I don't give a shit about your Intellectual Property or otherwise if you can't be bothered to copyrighted.

Re:If it ain't broke... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11464297)

Was the old opt-in copyright law in some way broken?
According to morons, yes.

Re:If it ain't broke... (2, Interesting)

Aardpig (622459) | more than 9 years ago | (#11464311)

Was the old opt-in copyright law in some way broken?

Of course! It impeded corporations' God-given right to squeeze every last dollar out of citizens/customers/consumers! So it obviously had to go....

Re:If it ain't broke... (2, Informative)

stubear (130454) | more than 9 years ago | (#11464327)

The change brought us in line with copyright laws from Europe. Personally I'd rather have the moral rights clauses instead of an opt-out system.

Re:If it ain't broke... (1)

ThisIsFred (705426) | more than 9 years ago | (#11464438)

Well if it wasn't broken, why did they change it to begin with?

Re:If it ain't broke... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11464508)

Because they're IDIOTS!
[/Napoleon]

It was broken... (2, Insightful)

the_skywise (189793) | more than 9 years ago | (#11464440)

In geek-terms, it resolves a race condition. Under the new system as soon as you create a work it gains copyright from the date of creation. If somebody steals your work and passes it off as their own and you can show proof of the date, they've violated your copyright.

Under the old system, somebody could steal your work by taking it and copyrighting it under their name. Even if you could prove you had the earlier work the other guy had a better chance of winning because he had actually applied for, and gotten, the copyright.

Re:If it ain't broke... (2, Informative)

harlows_monkeys (106428) | more than 9 years ago | (#11464571)

I personally fail to see any reason to change mid-stride like this anyways. Was the old opt-in copyright law in some way broken?

It was broken in the sense that it was incompatible with the law of pretty much every other country in the world. The change was done to make US law compatible with the Berne Convention, so the US could join.

Re:If it ain't broke... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11464640)

Was the old opt-in copyright law in some way broken?

Well, there is that coffee stain from that time I let China borrow it, and a few pages in the middle are missing. But I wouldn't say it's broken...

Rest of your life and beyond (1, Interesting)

mboverload (657893) | more than 9 years ago | (#11464263)

So you write something and you get to keep it until you are 100? I call bullshit.

This "transfer" of copyrights to a heir or something is stupid too, they didn't come up with the damn idea, why the hell should I pay THEM? Greedy brats.

Rest of your life and beyond-Not dead yet. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11464405)

"So you write something and you get to keep it until you are 100? I call bullshit."

You're not planning to live to a hundred? I am. Can I get your stereo?

Re:Rest of your life and beyond (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11464435)

This "transfer" of copyrights to a heir or something is stupid too, they didn't come up with the damn idea, why the hell should I pay THEM? Greedy brats.

The supposed rationale is that old people would have no incentive to create anything, because they would only get, say, 10 years worth of royalties if the copyright expired at death. But with life+70 years, they can pass on the copyrights. But I've seen no evidence that this rationale actually works.

Re:Rest of your life and beyond (1)

AstroDrabb (534369) | more than 9 years ago | (#11464528)

So you write something and you get to keep it until you are 100? I call bullshit.
Sorry mboverload, your math is a little off. You don't get to keep something you write until your 100. You "only" get to keep if for 70 years _after_ you die. Please don't try to make the U.S. copyright system sound that _bad_. Seriously, what person can't continue to benefit from a work for 70 years after they die?

Come on now. If I am dead, of course I should still be allowed to make money. Doesn't my ghost deserve to live the life of a "capitalist"? Or are you just a commie that wants to try to oppress my ghost?

Re:Rest of your life and beyond (1)

geoffspear (692508) | more than 9 years ago | (#11464591)

Thanks for a great idea... I'm putting a clause in my will demanding that my coffin be dug up once a year so any profits I've made after my death can be put in there, in cash.

The pharaohs were fools... they only got themselves buried with the wealth they were able to accumulate before death.

A Lil OT (3, Informative)

Klar (522420) | more than 9 years ago | (#11464269)

Not to troll, but I noticed that this link had something to do with http://www.archive.org [archive.org] .. If you haven't been to this page before, you must go! It has been around for several years, and has some pretty kick ass archives of the internet.. yes.. the internet. You can get a look at snapshots of sites differet points in time. A must see.. I like looking at tech sales sites and lookin at the crazy prices :)

Re:A Lil OT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11464352)

archives of the internet.. yes.. the internet.

*sigh*

Re:A Lil OT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11464357)

internetS

Re:A Lil OT (1)

game kid (805301) | more than 9 years ago | (#11464361)

...or the old versions of google. [archive.org] I hope no one (else?) starts asking for their archived pages back.

After reading TFA I expect this case to go to the Supreme Court and make massive waves, at least.

More OT: Your sig (1)

zephc (225327) | more than 9 years ago | (#11464408)

Your sig looks like you're saying you need help with your computer fag. Sorry, can't help ya there, pal.

Different question (3, Insightful)

cubicledrone (681598) | more than 9 years ago | (#11464272)

This isn't a Constitutional issue. It's a Congressional issue. Congress has the Constitutional power to establish copyrights. In order to change that system, Congress simply needs to pass a new copyright act.

Re:Different question (1, Insightful)

JMPrice (598519) | more than 9 years ago | (#11464343)

Mod parent up.

Judges shouldn't legislate from the bench. If this Kahle's argument is the right course of action, we should take the case to our legislators to convince them how right it is.

Re:Different question (5, Insightful)

Seumas (6865) | more than 9 years ago | (#11464415)

Judges shouldn't legislate from the bench.

They don't. They make judgements based on their interpretation of the law. That's what they're hired for. The phrase "legislate from the bench" is just NewSpeak thrown about to gather support from various groups when they don't agree with a ruling.

Re:Different question (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 9 years ago | (#11464648)

But when they're high courts that are going against the obvious spirit of the law, then they are "legislating from the bench" because their decisions have much more far-reaching effects.

Re:Different question (2, Informative)

MostlyHarmless (75501) | more than 9 years ago | (#11464387)

Yes, the power was granted to Congress by the Constitution, but only "to promote the progress of science and the useful arts", if my memory serves correctly. The argument would be that Congress has gone beyond the scope of the powers granted to it. I won't make an entire defense of their claim -- but you should read the actual filing [archive.org] linked to in the article itself, especially the Introduction section, which is (surprisingly) understandable and in plain English.

It looks to me like this case builds a lot on the Supreme Court's reasonings in Eldred v. Ashcroft, so just because the previous case was lost doesn't mean that this one is automatically doomed.

Re:Different question (1)

Leo McGarry (843676) | more than 9 years ago | (#11464445)

The "promote the progress of science" clause has been interpreted by the courts to refer only to patents. Copyright law doesn't exist to promote anything. It's just a legal recognition of a creator's property rights over his creation.

Re:Different question (1)

powerg3 (22943) | more than 9 years ago | (#11464560)

The Constitution:

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;

If that really has been interpreted by judges to only apply to patents, that's a pretty gross misinterpretation, wouldn't you say?

Have you got any sources?

Re:Different question (1)

qbwiz (87077) | more than 9 years ago | (#11464570)

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;

I notice that both authors and inventors, writings and discoveries, are placed in the same category. Why should we treat each of them differently, viewing copyrights as inalienable property rights, while viewing patents as merely temporary protections of an idea? It seems inconsistent to me.

Re:Different question (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11464416)

There are plenty of constitutional issues at stake. For example, if I decide to use the following statement in my book: "This isn't a Constitutional issue. It's a Congressional issue. Congress has the Constitutional power to establish copyrights. In order to change that system, Congress simply needs to pass a new copyright act." ...even if I cite you, is that legal? Can Congress extend copyright to require me to get permission from you to even cite you here in my response to your silly question? Because I have some first ammendment rights, don't I? To what degree can they deny me the right to say what I like?

Copyright has always been a tenuous balancing act between the (imaginary but thought necessary) rights of the copyright owner and the first ammendment rights of a speaker to use that material in his protected speech. There's an important safe harbor for copyright users called "fair use". It's a longstanding collection of doctrines which more or less say that copyright can only go so far, and though Congress has the right to establish copyright law, it can't push it too far into the realm of first ammendment violation.

The recent changes in copyright largely shrunk the fair use region. Congress may not have had the right to do that. This is very much a constitutional issue.

Re:Different question (4, Informative)

shystershep (643874) | more than 9 years ago | (#11464437)

Close, but no cigar. Art. 1, section 8: "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."

That clause gives Congress the power to legislate patents and copyrights, but it is limited by the phrases "to promote the progess of science and useful arts" and "for limited times." Therefore a copyright act that does more than that is unconstitutional, and congress does not have power to act unconstitutionally.

As I understand it, their argument on appeal are that the continuous extensions of the period of copyright protection violate the limited times clause, and - separately - that the current system impinges on First Amendment free speech.

Re:Different question (1, Interesting)

geoffspear (692508) | more than 9 years ago | (#11464555)

An extension to 500,000 years would still be "limited", and thus constitutional. Whether or not Congress should be limited by some judge's idea of what's a "Useful Art" is certainly a debatable, but I doubt any reasonable Supreme Court would be comfortable telling Congress that the current copyright law is unconstitutionally broad because it protects some useless stuff (besides, I don't really want the government deciding what art is useful enough to deserve protection).

As for 1st Amendment issues, there are none. If Congress tried to prohibit the press for reporting on copyrighted works, there would be an issue. But your freedom of speech is hardly infringed if you're not allowed to copy someone else's published "speech", especially with the fair use provisions of copyright law covering pretty much any reasonable use that could be considered protected speech.

Re:Different question (1)

kponto (821962) | more than 9 years ago | (#11464676)

An extension to 500,000 years would still be "limited", and thus constitutional

While this statement alone is true, Congress has repeatedly extended copyrights over the past several decades (nine times I think...does someone know the actual numbers?). If Congress has the power to continually extend copyrights, and they do so every time those copyrights are about to expire (as they have been doing, thank you Disney lobbyists), then functionally, copyrights terms are no longer limited and thus are unconstitutional.

kp

Re:Different question (4, Interesting)

k98sven (324383) | more than 9 years ago | (#11464482)

This isn't a Constitutional issue. It's a Congressional issue. Congress has the Constitutional power to establish copyrights. In order to change that system, Congress simply needs to pass a new copyright act.

Well, changing the system isn't the issue here (although it's undoubtedly the goal). The issue here is whether the change from opt-in to opt-out was constitutional.

Looking at the constitution, you'd hardly think it's an issue:
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


But there's of course more to the constitution than just the text itself. It's how the Supreme Court interprets that text which is important.

In Eldred vs. Ashcroft, which is very much the predecessor to this case (Larry Lessig being involved with both), the Supreme Court [supremecourtus.gov] basically said that the Sonny Bono copyright extension act was OK, since it didn't alter "the traditional contours of copyright protection".

So, what they're arguing here is basically a follow-up on that: "Well, what about the opt-in system? Didn't that change the contours of traditional copyright?"

I'd say it's a long shot. But I'm thankful for them trying.

Copied wrong? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11464277)

I hope they fixed that typo on page 7 before submitting it to court...

What are the real goals ? (2, Insightful)

Space cowboy (13680) | more than 9 years ago | (#11464285)

I doubt that opt-in copyright will be stricken from the records - the rest of the world uses it, it would create a legal nightmare for any company that spans US/international borders.

Perhaps the real thrust is to force a 'compromise' deal, either to get a hard and fast limit of 95 years agreed (for when Mickey Mouse needs extending) or even to try and reduce that period of time.

When you're shooting against the wind, you have to build in some compensation in order to hit the target...

Simon

Re:What are the real goals ? (1)

SoSueMe (263478) | more than 9 years ago | (#11464391)

Not only would this be a problem for individual companies, but it could shift the preception in a lot of international reciprocal agreements in respect to copyrighhts.

Broken Law (1)

mboverload (657893) | more than 9 years ago | (#11464288)

Whats bad is that there are few ways to really fix the patent and copyright system.

The law is blind, and unable to decide on merits.

95 Years? (2, Interesting)

GameMaster (148118) | more than 9 years ago | (#11464317)

I thought present copyright was supposed to last for 95 years after the death of the author. There is a big difference between that and what is written in the post. Anyone care to clarify this?

-GameMaster

Re:95 Years? (2, Informative)

cpt kangarooski (3773) | more than 9 years ago | (#11464449)

No, you're confusing two different terms. Without getting into the specific details, if a work is created by an author normally, it lasts for their life + 70 years. But if it is a work for hire, it lasts for the shorter of 120 years from creation or 95 years from first publication.

This used to be a lot easier: upon first publication of the work, there was no copyright unless one had been specifically registered. Then the term was a flat period of time for everyone, and shorter than the current term lengths too.

Copyright (c) (4, Insightful)

Makecash (852311) | more than 9 years ago | (#11464381)

I believe the current copyright law is
A work that is created (fixed in tangible form for the first time) on or after January 1, 1978, is automatically protected from the moment of its creation and is ordinarily given a term enduring for the author's life plus an additional 70 years after the author's death. In the case of "a joint work prepared by two or more authors who did not work for hire," the term lasts for 70 years after the last surviving author's death. For works made for hire, and for anonymous and pseudonymous works (unless the author's identity is revealed in Copyright Office records), the duration of copyright will be 95 years from publication or 120 years from creation, whichever is shorter

Automatic copyrights are the problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11464409)

I have no problem with automatic copyrights. It's the duration that's unreasonable. I think 40 years is more than fair.

Here's another idea. Let's have automatic copyrights that last for 10 years or so. Then the copyright holder can file for an extension every 10 years until they hit the 95 year mark. That would make many 'abandoned' works public domain very soon, but would allow more valuable works to be protected longer.

This will go nowhere. (1)

neckdeepinspecialsau (756133) | more than 9 years ago | (#11464425)

I think he is right on for trying appeal it should be an opt-in system. The problem is that the climate in government these days is more restrictive and involved than ever before and sadly this will go nowhere.

oh well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11464488)

Johnny Carson recently died so 95 years from now i can copy/distribute/sell his stuff...oh wait ill be dead.

Well there's still GPL

Let's get grounded here (3, Insightful)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 9 years ago | (#11464536)

Before you all start freaking out about evil corporations, corrupt governments, and everything else (too late)...

Understand that this is not some change that happened overnight while you were asleep. We have not had an "opt-in" copyright law in the United States since January 1, 1978. And the law was changed even before that -- Congress actually elected to amend the old copyright law in 1976. So I'd be willing to bet that this is the way copyrights have worked since before many of you were born.

Re:Let's get grounded here (1)

Brandybuck (704397) | more than 9 years ago | (#11464619)

You mean Ashcroft didn't do it? He didn't! But he's still evil, right? Whew, you had me worried there for a minute!

Most other country's in the world have opt-out (c) (3, Insightful)

wemgadge (774813) | more than 9 years ago | (#11464544)

I won't argue that life +70 is too long etc, but the point that I wanted to make about opt-out verses opt-in copyright is that under the old system, a creative work was unprotected from plagiarism until the work was officially registered with the copyright office. Here in Canada, I mail myself a copy of my work to prove date of creation (left unopened) and I'm done. Maybe the current US copyright law went too far, but opt-out copyright as a system ain't all bad.

Just goes to show (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11464598)

Not only do we Americans have a "president" who is only in office because his brother Jeb Bush prevented 50,000 Democrats in Florida from voting (many of them blacks) in 2000 and then kept them off the voting rolls again in 2004 (enough to turn the election each time), but we have an Attorney General who is just about equally as antagonistic toward Freedom and Democracy running roughshot over basic laws that favor the average citizen and instead supports rethinking of these laws to favor Big Corporations.


Put simply, the neo-con Corporate Lackeys are now running the system and ruining the country.

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