> The only hope that remains for the American Public Domain in the
>  near future is competition from Europe and other markets. If Congress
>  sees that American companies, archives and institutions are at a
>  disadvantage to their European counterparts, they may decide to put an
>  end to this madness. But this hasn't stopped them so far. European
>  companies may freely re-issue classic American jazz and country music
>  and this does not seem to have an effect on Congress. Rather the big
>  companies are, from what I hear, attempting to shut down  Europe's
>  Public Domain.
>     What can be done in this situation?
>  James

>>  Under that 1998 act, copyright now extends for the life of
>>  an artist plus 70 years. Copyrights owned by corporations
>>  run for 95 years. Since the Constitution grants Congress
>>  the right to authorize copyright for "limited times," even
>>  the opponents of an extended term were not hopeful that the
>>  Supreme Court would rule otherwise.

I guess I don't understand the meaning of the word "limited."

Since the purpose of copyright is to benefit and encourage the person who
creates of the work, any extension beyond the lifetime of the author is
physically unlimited, since the benefit to a person cannot extend beyond that.

At the time the constitution was written, life expectancy was around 40
years.  Since few works are created by those under 20, the maximum term that
would qualify as limited would be around twenty years.  Even with current
life expectancies, the term limited would not apply to much more than fifty
years in this context.

Lets hope that the rest of the world can find a way to apply reason instead
of politics and money to the framing of the law.

Mike Csontos