Does Copyright Have Limits: Eldred v. Ashcroft and its Aftermath?

Does Copyright Have Limits: Eldred v. Ashcroft and its Aftermath?

The core motivating idea [for limiting copyright terms] was the restriction of monopoly. The English, of course, had  learned  to  hate  monopolies; they had  essentially fought a  war over Crown granted  monopolies. As the  United  States Supreme  Court decided  in one  of its really good  intellectual property decisions, the Statute of Anne was written against the backdrop of practices –eventually curtailed by the Statute of Monopolies – of the Crown in granting  monopolies to court favourites in  goods or businesses which  had  long  before  been  enjoyed by the public. For example, the printing of the Bible is a monopoly granted by  the Crown. Writs of Courts of Common Pleas were  a  monopoly controlled by and  rented by the Crown. Clay pipes were granted monopoly control, gold and silver thread  and most famously, of course, playing cards. This tradition of granting monopolies over  stuff that already existed  created the  ire  in the British people that led to a revolution against these monopolies. These monopolies for existing things were the product of an  endless lobbying by those who produced those existing things, lobbying to protect their monopoly.

Lawrence Lessig

Open Content Licensing: Cultivating the Creative Commons


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By |2018-01-01T00:00:00-08:00January 1st, 2018|Copyright, Intellectual Property, Reference|