When Copyright Atrophies
slogans from Eric Eldred's campaign to overturn the Copyright Term Extension Act Never thought I'd live to see today... the day on which new works enter the United States public domain. In the mid-1990s, it still seemed to be a routine matter for copyrights to expire on older work, with the occasional news story about which works of 1920, 1921, and 1922 were becoming free for all to access, publish and adapt . Then in 1998, 20 years were added to all existing copyrights, after copyright holders realized they could simply lobby for increasing the lengths of existing copyrights that were about to lapse (as opposed to the gradual lengthening of how long copyrights will last on new works). Eric Eldred's taking to court the unconstitutionality of such potentially-perpetual retroactive delays (which pretty clearly contravene the Constitution's statement that such terms shall last "for limited times") resulted in the Supreme Court upholding them in 2003.