Supreme Court reviewing challenges to public domain protection


On October 4th, the Supreme Court heard arguments in the  Golan v. Holder case — a case challenging the 1994 Uruguay Round Agreements Act. This act significantly limited the public domain when it restored the copyrights in the United States of many foreign works that previously had been freely available. Major works such as Picasso’s ‘Guernica’ and Fritz Lang’s ‘Metropolis’ lost their public-domain status as a result of this act. In a New York Times editorial, Peter Decherney, professor of film studies at the University of Pennsylvania, argues that the U.S. Congress went too far in 1994 and that the effects of this act on artists, filmmakers and students has been very damaging. To read the complete editorial, click here.
For more on Golan v. Holder, listen to Professor Edward Lee (IIT Chicago, Kent College of Law) on the Oyez Project or read these articles and discussions in the Chronicle of Higher Education, October 5, 2011 and May 29, 2011.


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