Eldred v. Ashcroft

Background information

The Copyright Term Extension Act prevented works from entering the public domain by extending the copyright term an additional 20 years. This affected works that plaintiffs were planning on republishing once the copyright expired.

Case summary

Case brought by plaintiff Eric Eldred (and others) challenging the constitutionality of the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act (CTEA), which the U.S. Supreme Court upheld in 2003. Lawrence Lessig represented Eldred and an Internet publisher before the Court. The Court upheld the law.The Court’s decision ultimately led Lessig to launch Creative Commons.