"Jack Valenti believes in the unlimited right of movie studios
to control the distribution of their work. But professor Lawrence
Lessig says, "I believe in the right to hack," even if that results
in breaking codes that safeguard new movies on DVD discs. Somewhere
between those positions is a middle ground that fosters the
creation of new intellectual property, while protecting the
public's fair use of older works."
"Classic movies and other venerable material ought to be out
from under copyright so they can be freely enjoyed and adapted to
new technologies. (Snow White, after all, is an ancient fairy tale
- out of copyright - that Walt Disney shaped for a 1930s
"Lessig is performing a valuable public service by taking up the
cause of Eric Eldred, a Derry, N.H., man who reprints books on the
Internet at Eldred.ne.mediaone.net. Eldred contends that the 1998
law is far too restrictive, and although he has lost the first
round in US District Court, he is fighting on with the help of
Lessig and lawyers from Harvard Law School. His case will be heard
by the US Appeals Court in Washington today."
"It will take years for courts to delineate the boundaries
of copyright law in the Internet age. They would be wise if they
emphasized protections for recently released movies, books and
other material while allowing the works of past generations to
freely enter the public domain."
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