Is Banning Bootlegs Constitutional? No... But, Yes
from the say-again? dept
Apparently, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals has taken on the issue of whether or not a law banning concert bootleg recordings is unconstitutional. The court found that it actually is unconstitutional. It violates the copyright clause of the Constitution ("promote the progress... for a limited time...") because it does not set a limited term on the rights of the content producer. However, even after admitting that, the court then turns around and says that the law is constitutional, as long as you ignore the copyright clause and focus instead on just the commerce clause, which allows Congress to make laws regarding commerce. This seems like an odd sort of ruling, and basically suggests that Congress can now start passing more draconian, unconstitutional intellectual property laws... as long as they're related to commerce. That seems problematic since it opens up quite a loophole in the limitations that the Constitution put on intellectual property laws.