Library of Congress Copyright Office
Supreme Court Upholds Copyright Term Extension

Supreme Court Rules in Eldred v. Ashcroft, Upholding Copyright Term Extension

January 15, 2003

The Supreme Court ruled today in Eldred v. Ashcroft, a constitutional challenge to the 20-year extension of copyright term in the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act.

In an opinion by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the Court concluded that Congress's extension of the terms of existing copyrights did not exceed Congress's power under the Copyright Clause and did not violate the First Amendment.

Justices Stevens and Breyer dissented.

Opinion of the Court (by Justice Ginsburg)
Dissent by Justice Stevens
Dissent by Justice Breyer

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