Constitutional Challenges to Copyright

Constitutional Challenges to Copyright

Friday, October 27, 2006
9:00 a.m. - 5:45 p.m.
Jerome Greene Hall, Room 104
Note: Advance registration is required.

On Friday, October 27, 2006, Columbia Law School will host a day-long symposium on Constitutional Challenges to Copyright.

The past several years have seen an increasing number of challenges to copyright and related laws on constitutional grounds. The 1976 Copyright Act, the Copyright Term Extension Act, the Berne Convention Implementation Act, the Copyright Renewal Act of 1992, the Copyright Restoration Provisions of the URAA, the federal anti-bootlegging statutes, and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act have all been subject to challenge, and one federal district court has held the federal anti-bootlegging statute unconstitutional, while another has reached the opposite conclusion.

Our symposium will explore the sources and limitations of Congress's power to enact copyright and copyright-related laws, the merits of these constitutional challenges, and the courts' responses so far. Panels of distinguished academics from around the country will discuss and debate:

  • Congress's power to enact copyright laws, and limitations on that power inherent in the Copyright Clause
  • Alternatives to the Copyright Power: The relationship of the Copyright Clause to the Commerce Clause and the Treaty Power
  • Copyright and Freedom of Expression

The keynote speaker will be Marybeth Peters, U.S. Register of Copyrights.

For the full schedule and list of speakers, please see the conference website at