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Copy that — or not — Congress can restore copyrights to public domain works


SKU: IIPjj121. Category: .


Abstract: One might think that, once a copyrighted work enters the public domain, it’s unconditionally available for use from there on out. But the U.S. Supreme Court has held that Congress can restore copyright protection to works that had been in the public domain. This article looks at the legal challenge posed by those who had previously enjoyed free access to such works, and why the Court rejected their arguments. A sidebar discusses the majority opinion’s rejection of the dissent’s concerns about “orphan works” — older and more obscure works that have copyright owners who are difficult or impossible to track down. Citation: Golan v. Holder, No. 10-545, Jan. 18, 2012 (Supreme Court)

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