Intellectual Property

Get Ready for Another Battle Over Copyright Extensions

Countdown to the confrontation.

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Fifteen years ago this week, Bill Clinton signed a 20-year extension to the length of time works are covered by copyright. That means—do the math!—it's just five years til the copyrights he extended are scheduled to start expiring. Gentlemen, start your lobbies:

The Disney conspirators meet to plot their legislative strategy.

Copyright holders like the Disney Corp. and the Gershwin estate have a strong incentive to try to extend copyright extension yet further into the future. But with the emergence of the Internet as a political organizing tool, opponents of copyright extension will be much better prepared. The question for the coming legislative battle on copyright is who will prevail: those who would profit from continuing to lock up the great works of the 20th century, or those who believe Bugs Bunny should be as freely available for reuse as Little Red Riding Hood.

That's Tim Lee writing in The Washington Post. Read the rest of his piece here. Read Reason's coverage of the copyright extension issue here and here.