The US Supreme Court, in a 7-2 decision, just upheld the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act, an act posthumously named after the late congressman who had favored making copyrights last forever. That is supposed to be unconstitutional, as it says in Section 8, clause 8 of the US Constitution: “To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries.” Over the years, this “limited time” has been extended again and again, eleven times in forty years to be precise, at the behest of the entertainment industry. The obvious goal of these extensions is perpetual copyright. When the High Court agreed to hear the challenge brought by Eric Eldred, publisher of an online library of Public Domain works, I had high hopes. I struggle now to find words adequate to express my disappointment.

Except for Justices Breyer and Stevens, the Supreme Court has sold out. They have given their Nihil Obstat to perpetual copyright, and ignored the Constitution, no matter what they say in Justice Ginsburg’s majority opinion. We can expect another Copyright Term Extension Act every twenty years. Citing this precedent, the Supreme Court will do nothing about it. So much for the progress of science and the useful arts, which have been stifled by outrageously long copyright terms just so that Michael Eisner does not have to share Mickey Mouse, a character he did not create, with the rest of us. I guess I should have expected as much from the Supreme Court who decided to throw out the results of the 2000 election, and coronate Bush.

Soon, no one but historians will know what the public domain even was. We are all the public domain, and have all been robbed. An idea once expressed belongs to us, and is only on loan to copyright holders. Now, the loan can last forever. Copyrights frequently do not even go to the artists, scientists, and inventors who do the actual creating, but to parasites who exploit them. From now on, as the public domain, we should all engage in "piracy" as a form of civil disobedience, and take back what rightfully belongs to us. To hell with unjust laws that the corporations bribed Congress into passing, and seven of nine Supreme Court Justices into upholding. We, the public domain, must declare them null and void, and ignore them.

Imagine that the perpetual copyrights the corporations have created always existed. The King James Version of the Bible would be copyrighted. To print copies of it, you would need permission from the British Crown, or at least the Church of England, and would also have to pay them royalties. The KJV is so widely published because it is in the public domain, and anyone who wishes to may make copies of it. Now, nothing created after 1923 may ever belong to us all in this manner again.

It seems that Government of the people by the people and for the people has perished from the earth. We are left with government of the people by the corporations and for the corporations. I challenge Congress or the Supreme Court to prove me wrong.