Saturday, October 8, 2011

Copyright Law Challenged; Wall Street Journal, 10/6/11

Jess Bravin, Wall Street Journal; Copyright Law Challenged:

"The potential stakes are huge, and again pit old industry against new...

Solicitor General Donald Verrilli, defending the law, said it brought the U.S. into a convention that can protect American intellectual property abroad and amounted to "the price of admission to the international system."

Several justices, however, doubted that taking books and music by long-dead authors out of the public domain could promote the "progress" the Constitution sought to spur through copyright.

Justice Stephen Breyer, who dissented from the 2003 domestic-copyright case, said the government's position could undermine scholarship and preservation if researchers end up being forced to hire lawyers to track down owners or risk ignoring the law.

He cited the example of a group that seeks to preserve and publish Jewish music from the early 20th century but because the Nazis destroyed Eastern Europe's Jewish communities cannot identify the copyright owners."

No comments: