Corporations 1, the Commons 0

The Supreme Court voted 7-2 against Larry Lessig’s challenge to the Sonny Bono Copyright Extension Act. Justices Breyer and Stevens dissented, saying that the act makes copyright “virtually perpetual” and “inhibit[s] the progress of ‘Science’—by which word the Framers meant learning or knowledge” (Breyer dissent). Justice Stevens dissented more narrowly, arguing that just as states lack the right to extend individual patents, so Congress has no right to extend the term of copyright, and that the majority opinion of the court “rests on the mistaken
premise that this Court has virtually no role in reviewing congressional grants of monopoly privileges to authors,
inventors and their successors.” The Trademark Blog has additional coverage. Doc Searls weighs in to argue that this is the start of a long road, not the end of one. Ernie the Attorney thanks Lessig for his hard efforts. Slashdot has a discussion underway. Meanwhile, the Associated Press calls it “a huge victory for Disney,” laying the blame squarely at the feet of the companies who lobbied so vigorously to protect their monopolies.