As reported by Variety, Hawley’s bill would constitute a major rewrite of U.S. copyright law, shortening by several decades the total term available to all copyright holders going forward. He also wants to retroactively limit Disney’s copyrights, effectively stripping the company of much of its intellectual property. That particular provision would face several legal obstacles.
“That is a blatantly unconstitutional taking of property without compensation,” said Prof. Paul Goldstein, an intellectual property expert at Stanford Law School.
In a press release Hawley said that Disney had benefited from “unnecessarily long copyright monopolies,” and that it is time to end “the age of Republican handouts to Big Business.”
“Thanks to special copyright protections from Congress, woke corporations like Disney have earned billions while increasingly pandering to woke activists,” said Hawley, who once clerked for Chief Justice John Roberts. “It’s time to take away Disney’s special privileges and open up a new era of creativity and innovation.”
Hawley’s move is another shot against the entertainment giant by conservatives. Last month Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill that would strip Disney of its long-standing special tax status in the Orlando area.
"Restricting copyrights to 56 years would also likely draw opposition from every corner of the creative world — not just from Disney and other entertainment companies, but from authors, composers, songwriters, and many others," Variety reports.
Prof. Tyler Ochoa, an intellectual property expert at the Santa Clara University School of Law, also said that is likely unconstitutional.
“This has zero chance,” he said. “He’s showboating.”
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