Case opinion for US Supreme Court ELDRED v. ASHCROFT. Read the Court’s full decision on FindLaw. ELDRED V. ASHCROFT () U.S. () As respondent ( Attorney General Ashcroft) points out, however, these statutes were all temporary . ELDRED V. ASHCROFT () U.S. () F.3d , affirmed. Syllabus, Opinion [ Ginsburg ], Dissent [ Stevens ], Dissent [ Breyer ].

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But see ante, atn.

Our opinion said nothing about the power of Congress to extend the life of an issued patent. Although these costs are, in a sense, inevitable concomitants of copyright protection, there are special reasons for thinking them especially serious here.

The majority’s reliance on the other patent case it cites is similarly misplaced. The federal statute applied to those works as well as to new works.

States may not enact measures inconsistent with the federal patent laws. As respondent Attorney General Ashcroft .vashcroft out, however, these statutes were all temporary placeholders subsumed into the systemic changes effected by the Act.

Cleburne V.ashcrotf Center, Inc. Even without reference to the beginning of the clause, however, this Court’s prior opinions show that the Court of Appeals has misperceived the task of construction. And in my view this statute falls outside them. As I discuss below, the few historical exceptions to this rule do not undermine the constitutional analysis. He makes no effort meaningfully to distinguish existing copyrights from future grants.

First, it distinguishes between ideas and expression and makes only the latter eligible for copyright protection. Indeed, Congress has apparently indulged in those assumptions for under the series of extensions to copyrights, with the exception of works which required renewal and which were not renewed, no copyrighted work created in the past 80 years has entered the public domain or will do so until Even these figures seem likely to be underestimates in the sense that they assume that, if a work is still commercially avail- able, it earns as much as it did in a year shortly after its creation.

V.sahcroft, however, did not touch on the duration of copyright protection. This claim cannot justify this statute, however, because the rationale is inconsistent with the basic va.shcroft of the Copyright Clause-as understood by the Framers and by this Court. The authority to issue copyrights stems from the same Clause in the Constitution that created the patent power.


Eldred v. Ashcroft :: U.S. () :: Justia US Supreme Court Center

Indeed, “[t]his Court has repeatedly laid down the principle that a contemporaneous legislative exposition of the Constitution when the founders of our Government and framers of our Constitution were actively participating in public affairs, acquiesced in for a long term of years, fixes the construction to be given [the Constitution’s] provisions. And, in assessing this statute for that purpose, I would take into account the fact that the Constitution is a single document, that it contains both a Copyright Clause and a First Amendmentand that the two are related.

But how does “uniformity” help to justify this statute? Under that rule, the period before a bequest vests could easily equal or exceed the anticipated average copyright term under the CTEA. See FeistU.

Universal City Studios, V.ashcrofh. Again using CRS estimates, one can estimate that, bythe number of such works 75 years of age or older will be aboutThey pursue this main theme under three headings. United StatesU. The National Writers Union provides similar examples. If Congress concludes that a longer period of exclusivity is necessary in order to provide an adequate incentive to authors to eldref new works, respondent seems to believe that simple fairness requires that the same lengthened period be provided to authors whose works have already been completed and copyrighted.

The floor debate echoed this same sentiment. Additionally, Congress passed the Edred in light of demographic, economic, and technological changes, and rationally credited projections that longer terms would encourage copyright holders to invest in the restoration and public distribution of their works.

See supra, at ; Austin, supra n. Amici for petitioners describe how v.ashcroff databases tend to avoid adding to their collections works whose copyright holders may prove difficult to contact, see, e. On the contrary, petitioners claim only their constitutional entitlement to use the works that would have entered the public domain, as required by the law in effect at the time the particular statutory monopolies at issue were granted, had it not been for unconstitutional Congressional interference.

We have also stressed, however, that it is generally for Congress, not the courts, to decide how best to pursue the Copyright Clause’s objectives. Regardless of the effect of unconstitutional enactments of Congress, the scope of “‘the constitutional power of Congress Lessig focused the Plaintiffs’ brief to emphasize the Copyright clause restriction, as well as the First Amendment argument from the Appeals case.


But the first of these amounts to no more than a set of undeniably true propositions about the value of incentives in general. V.ahscroft presumption of validity should attach to a statutory enactment that relied on a shortly thereafter discredited interpretation of the basis for congressional power. Nor has the Court of Appeals’ position any support in the holdings of this Court. See Feist, U. Congress should not be permitted to take the public’s reversionary interest in the public domain, any more than it can take a portion of the copyright v.aashcroft original term or of any leasehold interest in real property.

Lutzker and Carl H. The limited term is not only a particularly important constitutional limitation on Congressional power by virtue of its presence in the text v.ashctoft goes eldreed the textually-implicit limitations of fair use and the idea-expression dichotomy—but eldrwd in the function it serves: The second fact seems already corrected for by the Act’s life-plus term, which automatically grows with lifespans.

Eldred v. Ashcroft, 537 U.S. 186 (2003)

Similarly, the costs of obtaining. The fact that the Court has not previously passed upon the constitutionality of retroactive copyright extensions does not insulate the present extension from constitutional challenge.

Instead, the plaintiffs extended their argument on the copyright clause to note that the clause requires Congress to “promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts,” and argued that retroactive extensions do not directly serve this purpose in the standard quid pro quo previously required by the courts.

United States Olympic Comm. If a “life plus 70” term applies, and if an author lives 78 years after creation of a work as with Irving Berlin and Alexander’s Ragtime Bandthe same assumptions yield a figure of It is sufficient to point out that such a principle for the award of copyright monopolies conflicts with the constitutionally mandated requirement of originality: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.