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Public Domain Works Can Be Copyrighted Anew, Supreme Court Rules
New York Times ^ | January 18, 2012 | Adam Liptak

Posted on 02/18/2012 10:42:16 PM PST by JerseyanExile

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld a federal law that restored copyright protection to works that had entered the public domain.

By a 6-to-2 vote, the justices rejected arguments based on the First Amendment and the Constitution’s copyright clause, saying that the public domain was not “a category of constitutional significance” and that copyright protections might be expanded even if they did not create incentives for new works to be created.

The case, Golan v. Holder, No. 10-545, considered a 1994 law enacted to carry out an international convention. The law applied mainly to works first published abroad from 1923 to 1989 that had earlier not been eligible for copyright protection under American law, including films by Alfred Hitchcock, books by C. S. Lewis and Virginia Woolf, symphonies by Prokofiev and Stravinsky and paintings by Picasso.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: copyright; copyrightextension; copyrightlaw; publicdomain; publicdomainworks; scotus; scotusping; supremecourt
This may not be the freshest of news, but I only just stumbled across it, and a bit of searching showed up nothing here about it.
1 posted on 02/18/2012 10:42:33 PM PST by JerseyanExile
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To: JerseyanExile

I guess this means George Romero can get his rights to Night of the Living Dead back, although in that case a copyright was not included in the official print of the film, I don’t know if this ruling restores implied copyrights as well.

2 posted on 02/18/2012 10:52:52 PM PST by LukeL (Barack Obama: Jimmy Carter 2 Electric Boogaloo)
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To: JerseyanExile


3 posted on 02/18/2012 11:05:00 PM PST by GOP Poet
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To: JerseyanExile

I don’t get it...Now you can get a copyright for work that you or some controlling party hadn’t applied for in the past??? Then the clock resets for copyright protection??? This was to conform to international copyright protection laws???

And this from a court that is going to hear O’bummer healthcare arguments that Congress so happily passed. Don’t get your hopes up, so to speak.

4 posted on 02/18/2012 11:29:37 PM PST by Razzz42
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To: JerseyanExile; Lurking Libertarian; JDW11235; Clairity; TheOldLady; Spacetrucker; Art in Idaho; ...

FReepmail me to subscribe to or unsubscribe from the SCOTUS ping list.

5 posted on 02/18/2012 11:40:29 PM PST by BuckeyeTexan (Man is not free unless government is limited. ~Ronald Reagan)
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To: BuckeyeTexan

Thanks for the ping. This country is in the greatest need of a copyright law rewrite. Like patents, I’m a firm believer in a period of exclusivity for a writer, inventor, etc. to get their ideas out, and make a return on that idea. I do not belive that period is forever (or even more than a period measured in years, not several decades). That’s asnine.

6 posted on 02/18/2012 11:55:09 PM PST by JDW11235 (
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To: JerseyanExile

The way I read the constitution, Congress was granted the ability to set copyright and patents as they see fit. I don’t think they need the Scotus or Potus or even in fact a particular law. Just a uniform, consistent and documented policy.

7 posted on 02/19/2012 12:46:24 AM PST by Usagi_yo
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To: Razzz42
From the article... "...Justice Ginsburg also rejected challenges to the law based on the First Amendment, saying that free speech interests are adequately protected by the fair use doctrine and the principle that only expression and not ideas are eligible for copyright protection..."
8 posted on 02/19/2012 12:59:37 AM PST by Razzz42
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To: JerseyanExile
Interesting little nugget buried in the story:

Justice Elena Kagan did not participate in the case, presumably because she had worked on it as United States solicitor general.

Why not? Didn't stop her with 0bamaCare.

9 posted on 02/19/2012 1:40:55 AM PST by Slings and Arrows (You can't have Ingsoc without an Emmanuel Goldstein.)
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To: Razzz42

ROTFL, that is sick you son of a gun.

10 posted on 02/19/2012 1:48:18 AM PST by ansel12 (Romney is unquestionably the weakest party front-runner in contemporary political history.)
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To: LukeL

This ruling is just more back door censorship and a reason for agents to legally snoop on your computer...

...and if you’ve been deemed an enemy of the party some atheistic gov agent will just deposit child porn tracking cookies on your computer and that’s that you going to defend against something so vile?

11 posted on 02/19/2012 9:16:19 AM PST by exPBRrat
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To: ansel12

One of the resident Freepers photoshopped that pic, didn’t have to do much as she really did nod off during O’bummer’s SOTU (I forget which year).

12 posted on 02/19/2012 12:56:15 PM PST by Razzz42
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