COPYRIGHT DEVELOPMENTS, GOOD AND BAD

The bad news is that the Supreme Court ruled yesterday that Congress did not exceed its authority when it extended existing copyrights for another twenty years. (See my news item on October 13.) The majority opinion seems uncomfortable with the idea that corporate copyright holders are being protected at the expense of creativity, but in the end the Court could not act courageously. Here’s Lawrence Lessig’s comments about the defeat, with links to the opinions.

The good news is that if you’re a science fiction fan, you can be part of a fascinating experiment by a brave author. Cory Doctorow has released a new novel, Down And Out In The Magic Kingdom, which is getting rave reviews. You can buy it at the usual places – Amazon, for example. The twist is that you can also download the entire book for free in a variety of formats, to read on your computer or your handheld. No charge, no obligation, no strings. The author is betting that people will want to have a bound copy once they start reading it. Well worth supporting this effort!