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The Times proposes copyright sanity

The New York Times has picked up on the recent proposal by the Administration to modify copyright law by invoking a new international agreement (ACTA) which would give US copyright protection previously given copyright protection under foreign law link here. These were in the U S public domain in the past but now they would be recognized as copyrighted. The Times opposes this.

The operative paragraphs read:

"As the petitioners said in their brief , "no treaty can authorize the government to do what the Constitution otherwise prohibits." Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. put it this way during argument: "One day I can perform Shostakovich; Congress does something, the next day I can't. Doesn't that present a serious First Amendment problem?"

"Copyright gives writers and others the incentive to create by giving them exclusive right to their work. But Congress's power to grant copyright is limited in time and scope so that works can move into the public domain, where they become an essential part of our culture. The government must find other ways to comply with the trade treaty without curbing free expression."

Copyright sanity is finally getting some well warranted coverage and rational support from responsible journals.


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