Monday, September 30, 2002

Supreme Court to Review Challenge to Copyright Term Extension Act

September 30, 2002

Supreme Court to Review Challenge to Copyright Term Extension Act

On October 9, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments that will determine the constitutionality of the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act.

The Act, effective since 1998, extends the length of time an author can retain copyright to their work. Petitioners in the Supreme Court case are challenging the Act, calling it an unconstitutional exercise of congressional power that violates the First Amendment and unduly burdens those who seek to create new works based on old ones. They are hoping the Court will strike down the Act and potentially prevent Congress from further extending the length of time a work may be copyrighted.

The government argues that it has the constitutional right to determine the length of both new and existing copyrights and does not violate the First Amendment.
For more on Eldred v. Ashcroft, see

Internet Entertainment Company Sues Movie StudiosA Web-based video-on-demand company has filed an anti-trust suit against three major movies studios, alleging that the studios are conspiring to kill their online competition.
While the complaint, filed by Culver City-based Intertainer, Inc., accuses AOL Time Warner, Sony, and Vivendi Universal of working together to fix pricing for content on demand, the heart of the suit lies in the question of who will control direct-to-viewer digital distribution.

Last year, the three studios had announced they were joining forces to form Movielink, an Internet video-on-demand service that directly competes with Intertainer.
Intertainer, Inc.
Movielink the Intertainer Complaint (PDF file)