The Day After [ ]

Donna Wentworth
Copyfight: the politics of IP

January 15, 2003

Received an email just now from ILAW [ ] alum Sarah Lai Stirland [ ], asking how the Berkman Center [ ] is dealing with the Eldred loss [ ]. Wrote Sarah (hyperlinks, mine):


I know you're busy, but when you get a chance--maybe you could blog it, I dunno--but what is the mood at Berkman/HLS like? I'm dying to know. How does everyone feel? Defeated? Depressed? Defiant? What's going on?

Everyone had such high hopes. There was a feeling of it being a historic moment at the Public Knowledge [ ] party after the argument. It was an emotional moment for all.

Although others had said this could happen, I was quite stunned when the news broke. It's like you know something might happen, but the scope of this is massive. I think the coverage in the NYTimes [ ] appropriately reflected this....

Honestly? The mood here is better than might be expected. As John Palfrey says [ ], we're committed to this fight on many fronts [ ]. This is a defeat, to be sure; yet we are undeniably pleased that this case is focusing attention on these issues.

The Washington Post has posted the transcript of an interview conducted today [ ] with Eldred co-counsel Jonathan Zittrain [ ]. Says JZ, among other things [ ]:

It's not fun to lose a case that seems so obvious. But it's apparently not obvious to seven justices--five of whom didn't write any opinion in the matter. Now, with the Court having spoken, the dispute will have to focus within the public and political arenas. The case at least has caught the public eye, and my guess is that when Congress takes up yet another copyright-expanding piece of legislation (including, perhaps, a further term extension), it won't be seen as obscure and unimportant, and unlike the Bono act, won't sail through Congress without a single dissenting vote in either chamber.

That's a start, I guess.

FYI, if you are just now tuning in: I will likely continue to gather links and reactions to the decision, below [ ]. If you've got something to say that you'd like to share, I'd like to hear it [ ].

Post script: Many thanks to Denise [ ], Halley [ ], Ernie [ ], the other Ernie [ ], Jenny [ ], Dan [ ], Dave [ ], Marty [ ], Seth [ ], the other Seth [ ], Edward [ ], Siva [ ], Frank [ ], Kathryn [ ], Glenn [ ], Declan [ ], Richard [ ] and countless others for helping spread the news RE Eldred and the copyfight. This matters.

Copyright 2003