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September 25, 2004
Copyright Terms Must Have Limits, Part II
Thanks to Larry and Joe Gratz, here's the opinion (PDF) in US v. Martignon, in which a district court in the Southern District of New York struck down the anti-bootlegging provision of the copyright act because copyright cannot live forever.
The opinion is fantastic. The Court concludes (1) that antibootlegging regulations are "copyright-like" regulations, and thus are within the scope of the Copyright Clause, (2) that this regulation violates the Copyright Clause because it doesn't have a limited term (citing Eldred (sweet justice)) (And remember, the 11th Circuit's case expressly did not consider the limited times argument), and (3) that Congress can't use the Commerce Clause to do what it can't do under the Copyright Clause, so long as the subject matter is "copyright-like."
I have always been a fan of Judge Baer, but never more than today.
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