CCIA Files Amicus Brief with Supreme Court Opposing Copyright Term Extension

May 23, 2002

Washington, DC – The Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA) joined with several other groups to oppose the recent extension of copyright terms by Congress in a case before the U.S. Supreme Court, Eldred v. Ashcroft. The amicus curiae brief was filed by CCIA and a diverse group of academics, literary groups, and technology organizations.

“The copyright term extension is yet further evidence of many copyright owners’ intent to maximize protection of intellectual property at the expense of all other interests,” said Ed Black, CCIA President and CEO. “We strongly support copyright, and our members own thousands of copyrights, but we believe in a balanced system that promotes scholarship, research, and free expression. The copyright term extension significantly alters this critical balance.”

The brief supports efforts to challenge the constitutionality of the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act, enacted by Congress in 1998. The Act extends the copyright term by an additional 20 years, so that copyrighted works are now protected under U.S. copyright law for the “life of the author” plus 70 years. Arguments in the case will occur before the Supreme Court this fall.

“It is absurd to claim that we must add 70 years of protection following an author’s death in order to provide adequate incentives to create artistic works and promote scientific research,” said Black. “We believe the arts, literature, and science are better served by a balanced system that recognizes the rights of the public as well as copyright owners.”

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