Ruth Bader Ginsburg: Opinion in Eldred v. Ashcroft

(2003)

Eldred v. Ashcroft challenged the constitutionality of the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act, which extended existing copyright terms (under the Copyright Act of 1976) by an additional twenty years, thus preventing numerous works from entering the public domain. Ruth Bader Ginsburg, in her opinion written for the Court majority, took into account the jurisprudence of other nations in the realm of copyright law. The European Union in 1993 had established a baseline copyright term of life plus seventy years, and Congress had acted to ensure that Americans would receive the same copyright protection in Europe. In upholding the constitutionality of CTEA, the Ginsburg pointed out that standard harmonized the baseline U.S. copyright term with that adopted by the European Union.

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Ruth Bader Ginsburg with Bill Clinton (National Archives)

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