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Columbia Law School

2003

Intellectual Property Law

Virginia Law Review

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Full-Text Articles in Law

When Code Isn't Law, Tim Wu Jan 2003

When Code Isn't Law, Tim Wu

Faculty Scholarship

When the Supreme Court upheld extended copyright terms in Eldred v. Ascroft, many Internet activists called for renewed political action in the form of appeals to Congress or even a campaign to amend the Constitution. But others suggested a very different course: They argued that it would be wiser to forgo institutions controlled by the powers of the past, and to return instead to the keyboard to write the next generation of "lawbusting" code. In the words of one observer, "tech people are probably better off spending their energy writing code than being part of the political process" because "[t ...