In a defeat to the public dissemination of intellectual property and ultimately the consumption of knowledge as a whole, the Supreme Court, in the much-publicized Eldred v. Ashcroft case, ruled in favor of Attorney General Ashcroft and for extending copyright protection to 70 years after the death of the author.
Eldred v. Ashcroft Opinion
From a post on October 11th:
17 economists spoke out against the copyright extensions contained in the new law (from 50 to 70 years) in a filing to the Supreme Court.
On Eldred v. Ashcroft
17 Economists: Roy T. Englert, Jr. George A. Akerlof, Kenneth J. Arrow, Timothy F. Bresnahan, James M. Buchanan, Ronald H. Coase, Linda R. Cohen, Milton Friedman, Jerry R. Green, Robert W. Hahn, Thomas W. Hazlett, C. Scott Hemphill, Robert E. Litan, Roger G. Noll, Richard Schmalensee, Steven Shavell, Hal R. Varian, and Richard J. Zeckhauser
From the Amici Brief:
“Taken as a whole, it is highly unlikely that the economic benefits from copyright extension under the CTEA outweigh the additional costs. Moreover, in the case of term extension for existing works, the sizeable increase in cost is not balanced to any significant degree by an improvement in incentives for creating new works. Considering the criterion of consumer welfare instead of efficiency leads to the same conslusion, with the alteration that the CTEA’s large transfer of resources from consumers to copyright holders is an additional; factor that reduces consumer welfare.”