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Kahle and Prelinger Case Dismissed

Paul, · Categories: Alumni and other friends, General, Information Commons

The most recent legal challenge to the current state of the information commons is that of Brewster Kahle of Archive.org and Rick Prelinger of Prelinger Film Archives. They, with the help of the Stanford Law Center for Internet and Society, contend that the copyright law as it now exists locks up works that have been abandoned or otherwise should have and could have been returned to the public domain. This locking up of such works is, they allege, unconstitutional. They point out that they are not up for taking works that the authors actually want and that are in publication, but rather works that are now out of print and whose authors (or owners) are impossible to find.
They lost in District Court without a hearing, but have appealed to the 9th Circuit.
Wired News has a good brief article. Stanford Law refers to the decision as a setback [longer paper in pdf available there]. Lessig was somewhat involved and his commenters have more to say on his blog. Slashdot covered the story earlier and of course the chorus of commenters was loud there ;->

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