RE: [Videolib] Round one on Copyright case

Jed Horovitz (
Thu, 2 Dec 2004 10:56:43 -0500

I agree it has little chance but hopefully it will bring this particular
problem of copyright law to public attention. On a personal note, Lessig
(who represents Brewster Kahle) is pursuing this in part because he lost the
Eldred case (where the supreme's said 'It IS a bad law but it is the law')
and is determined to set that right even if it means using the courts as a
PR tool. So help spread the word.

-----Original Message-----
[]On Behalf Of Jessica
Sent: Wednesday, December 01, 2004 5:23 PM
To: videolib
Subject: [Videolib] Round one on Copyright case

Well Jed as I predicted the thing REALLY got tossed and though I know it
will appealed I think there is zero chance of it getting anywhere. It may
not be good law but it is the law

>From The Chronicle For Higher Education
Tuesday, November 30, 2004
Judge Dismisses Challenge to 4 Laws That Archivists Say Skew Concept of

A federal judge has ruled against legal scholars and archivists who
challenged current
copyright law in hopes of making it easier to archive old literature and
films on
the Internet, where they would be available free to the public.
The case, Kahle v. Ashcroft, pitted two archive groups -- the Internet
a nonprofit digital library, and the Prelinger Archives, which preserves
films --
against the U.S. Justice Department. The archivists argued that four
copyright laws
are collectively keeping people from gaining access to "orphan" works:
out-of-print books, old films, and academic articles that have little or no

The laws that the archivists fault are the Copyright Act of 1976, the Berne
Implementation Act of 1988, the Copyright Renewal Act of 1992, and the Sonny
Copyright Term Extension Act of 1998. A central part of the archivists'
is that laws granting copyright protection to all works, even those for
which the
creators have not sought protection, have radically altered the "traditional
contours of copyright."

But Judge Maxine M. Chesney, of the U.S. District Court for the Northern
of California, disagreed with that claim and dismissed the case without
arguments on it. In an opinion based in part on the U.S. Supreme Court's
2003 decision
in Eldred v. Ashcroft (The Chronicle, January 16, 2003), Judge Chesney wrote
laws that abolished the requirement that works be registered to receive
protection do not "alter the scope of copyright protection, but merely
the procedures necessary to obtain or maintain such protection."

Lawrence Lessig, a prominent expert on law and technology, handled the
for the archivists, along with two other legal scholars. All three are
with Stanford Law School's Center for Internet & Society.

Jennifer S. Granick, executive director of the center, said on Monday that
the judge
got it wrong.

"If you have a law that says you don't have to apply for copyright
said Ms. Granick, "that clearly is about scope." The plaintiffs plan to
appeal the ruling.

Proud Resident of a BLUE STATE

Jessica Rosner
Kino International
333 W 39th St. 503
NY NY 10018

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