National Writers Union Statement on Eldred Supreme Court Decision

Jan 15, 2003

Date: Wed, 15 Jan 2003 13:19:54 -0500
From: Jonathan Tasini
Subject: Statement on Eldred Supreme Court Decision

he National Writers Union was proud to be the anchor organization for the creators' amicus brief in support of the plaintiffs in Eldred. We took this position because, as the amicus brief stated, we "support a healthy balance between copyright protection and access to information."

We took this position for two reasons. First, we believe that unreasonable copyright extension does not benefit the public, nor individual creators who must have access to creative works in order to inspire new works. We believe that when heirs of copyright owners benefit 50 years *after* the death of the original individual author, that that is truly enough.

Second, the real beneficiaries of unreasonable copyright extension are not individual authors, but large corporations. A small number of heirs of individual authors will benefit from a copyright extension that extends 70 years after the death of the original, individual creator. Congress has failed to address the true problem in copyright--while the original vision of the Framers was to protect the individual creator, copyright is increasingly a corporate property. Individual creators are being forced to sign away their rights in perpetuity or their work is being simply stolen by big media companies. Until Congress and the courts address that trend, copyright will be a tool for the enrichment of media corporations and their executives, not a tool for progress in the arts and sciences

Jonathan Tasini
National Writers Union
UAW Local 1981
113 University Place
New York, NY 10003
Tel: 212-254-0279
Fax: 212-254-0673

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