Speaking of Awful Copyright Policy
Today the Supreme Court issued its opinion in Golan v. Holder, and it’s terrible. The result can be justified, but the opinion is way, way too broad in its statements about the public domain. The Court says that this case is analogous to Eldred when it is not, and ignores the English copyright history that formed the backdrop of the Copyright Clause. Apparently, that Clause should now be read to say that as long as the idea/expression dichotomy and fair use are retained, Congress can grant a copyright to anything so long as it has a rational basis for concluding that this would have a positive effect on some creators or distributors.
Justice Breyer and Justice Alito deserve praise for this dissenting from this mess. Justice Ginsburg–not so much.