Can Congress Provide Copyright Protection to Software?

Aharonian v. Gonzales, No. 04-05190-MHP (N.D. Ca.).

This case got some press when it was first filed. The plaintiff’s basic contention is that it is unconstitutional for Congress to provide copyright protection for software. This is a pretty wacky claim, and I doubt the plaintiff has a very good chance of success.

In any case, I’m resurfacing it because in June, the DOJ filed a motion to dismiss that lays out its basic defense. If you’ve ever wondered to yourself where Congress gets its authority to protect software under copyright law (I know, not the first thing I think of when I wake up in the morning either!), the DOJ brief lays it out for you.