Posted by Paul Andrew Mitchell, B.A., M.S. on September 17, 1998 at 20:21:31:
In Reply to: Paul Andrew Mitchell...what is a "common law copyright"? posted by KatNip on September 17, 1998 at 17:45:34:
Confer at "common law" in the Seventh Amendment.
"Congress ... cannot by legislation alter the
Constitution, from which alone it derives its
power to legislate, and within whose limitations
alone that power can be lawfully execised."
See Eisner v. Macomber, U.S. Supreme Court
[holding predicated on meaning of "income"
in the so-called 16th amendment]
Confer also at "Copyright" ("attempted to abolish")
and "Common-law copyright" in Black's Law
Dictionary, Sixth Edition.
But, Congress cannot abolish the common law,
because it is preserved expressly by the
Seventh Amendment. See also FRCP Rule 38,
in pari materia with the Seventh Amendment,
where the Right to jury trials in federal civil
cases is preserved "inviolate" [sic].
Thus, a state Citizen's Right to invoke the
common law is a fundamental Right, because
it is guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.
Confer at "Fundamental rights" in Black's
Law Dictionary, Sixth Edition. Under the
Downes Doctrine, state Citizens do have
standing to invoke the common law.
The meaning of "common law" as used in the
Seventh Amendment can only be amended by
three-fourths of the several states, and
it has never been amended since the Bill of
Rights was first ratified. Thus, it retains
the meaning it had when it first became
Compare also U.C.C. 1-207.
Consequently, the Right to invoke the common
law is not alienable by Congress nor by the
/s/ Paul Andrew Mitchell, B.A., M.S.
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