Each time Congress passes a law extending the term of copyrights it means that works that might otherwise pass into the public domain (where they can be used for free by our information-hungry citzenry) don't. Only a very small percentage of the works that get these perpetual extensions are actually being exploited commercially. In short, no one cares about most of them. And yet they remain locked up.
Why? Because the people who own the works that can be commercially exploited have no economic interest in passing a law that contains a creative exception for unexploited works. And unless someone with money proposes a law, or an exception to a law, no one in Congress will listen. Even if someone comes up with a brilliantly creative solution that protects the corporate interests.
Larry Lessig has come up with such a perfect solution, which he explains here. And, apparently, he is having trouble getting a person in Congress to even introduce the legislation (Larry is only an exceptionally intelligent and well-informed law professor, who is an expert in Copyright law and the Internet, so what would he know about drafting a law that solves a Copyright problem, right?)
So, since he can't get the attention of Congress on this matter, he needs your help. Let's beseige our congresspersons with emails, and letters, and banners and whatever we can come up with to alert them to Lessig's very simple solution. All we want is someone to sponsor the legislation that Lessig is proposing. Is there anything unreasonable about that? [Ernie the Attorney]