August 29, 2002  ·  Lessig

Congress has the power to promote the Progress of Science … by securing for limited Times to Authors … exclusive Right to their Writings.

If you take that seriously, then it is just not like building a house. If the government takes your house, it must pay you. This says if the government gives you a copyright, it must, after a “limited Time” take it away.

Sifry nicely summarizes the argument (which has been remarkably civil) and David raises the ultimate question: How long? I still like Justice Story’s formula: “at as early a period as possible.”

Graham and Zerbe have a nice piece that doesn’t exist here, but in which they try to estimate how long is long enough. Answer: surprisingly short.

Economically Efficient Treatment of Computer Software: Reverse Engineering, Protection, and Disclosure” (with Lawrence D. Graham), Rutgers Computer and Technology Law Review, 22(1), 1996, pp. 61-142.

Back to taking “limited Times” way too seriously …

  • http://unknoen.bravehost.com Damian Light

    On the sixth of January 2007, the one, the Emcee D unknoen, was pulled over and started seizuring while passed out on the grass of a sidewalk next to the 101 freeway in the town of goleta just north of Santa barbara. As D was laying out, a sherrifs deputy vehicle pulled up and questioned D. He was asked for his ID.
    When D went to go find it, the deputy, a deputy Mooney, known for harrassing and assaulting people on a famous rap CD by Ice Cube, picked up a package of tobacco off the ground. Inside was a cigarette supposedly with some marijuana in it, and the deputy flipped out. He brought D over to his patrol vehicle and searched him down. On D’s person was a medical prescription for marijuana and about a gram of prescription Mary Jane.
    The deputy flipped out and cuffed D and threw him up against the patrol car making a loud clang. D was cuffed and thrown into the vehicle. his rights werent read but he was released. Mooney, arm filled with tattoos, went through the tobacco by hand and went all through D’s bags. Despite legalization laws D was written a $600 summons.
    D informed the deputy that he had an appointment to see the state governor, the deputy warned him not to make any wrong moves, or it would be the last move he made. he then said “I don’t care if you know the president, I’ll blow your face off.”
    About ten hours later, approximately 11:00 pm gunfire started going off behind the Camino Real Market place (where D, at some point, was meeting some extremely serious producers about movie work). When gunshots started going off and D ducked to the ground, he waited about 15 minutes and the gunfire was still going off. It was about a half a field away when D got up and ran to the other side of the field to hide in some trees. About 25 shots went off total.
    About two weeks later, D was approached by Sherrif Perez and a gun was put to D’s face by the Sherrif. Perez told D Unknoen to get out of town, or he would be beaten. After D was threatened numerous times with beatings, he informed the deputy of the sherrifs department again that he ahd an appointmetn to see the governor,a nd the deputy said he didnt care and he would taze him if he ever saw him again.
    D was also illegally searched and drug tested by Sherrif Rogers and Jenkins who claimed he was a threat after returning a lost purse to a clerk. he was given another summons and told to shut up about infomation he was asking and looking for.

    Damian Forest Light Santa Barbara Ci