The Plain Truth

...and some fancy speculation.

Saturday, January 18, 2003

What's Really Wrong in the Middle East

Wow, a week ago Angie Schultz summed it all up, and I missed it...the US is not the source of all Evil or Good, and the Arabs just need to Grow Up and Take Responsability for their Problems.

As do a lot of other people in the world.


posted by David 1/18/2003 10:12:00 PM

"Limited" vs. "Is"

The recent Eldred vs. Ashcroft decision reminds me a whole lot of Clintonian dithering about the meaning of the word "Is". The Court 's majority opinion stated that they didn't think it was their place to decide what the definition of 'limited' was, as long as Congress hadn't changed the 'shape' of copyright law, except for the timeframe.

Oh, they must have throught 'limited' only meant in space, not in time.

Well, if they're not the one's to decide what's an unreasonably long timeframe, who the Hell is?

This is the essence of what they were being asked to decide, and all of the 1st Amendment issues raised by Plaintiff clouded the issues more than anything else. As the court themselves acknowledged, only 2-3% of works that would have expired had Bono been overruled maintained economic value at all for the rights holders.

Hence, we've already reached the point where a further temporal extension of rights is not in the Publics' interest, the furtherance of which is the purpose for Congress being allowed to grant them at all, only that of a few already wealthy rights holders.

I believe that Plaintiff might have had more success if this point was hammered home to the exclusion of other issues, many of which I think the majority opinion was right in dismissing.

Now, don't get me wrong, the Eldred decision wasn't all bad news, as Balkinization (via Instapundit) points out: they (SCOTUS) have now setup things for a takedown of most of the DMCA by a test case arguing that it fundamentally does change the 'shape' of copyright, other than temporally.

So I think that Larry did lose this battle, in the sense of his line of argument muddying the real issue, but that he may have un-intentionally won the war, by losing in a way that's a total setup for the DMCA (the REAL big evil, compared to BONO) to take a fall.


posted by David 1/18/2003 08:33:00 PM


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