[Foundation-l] Court: Congress can't put public domain back into copyright

GerardM gerard.meijssen at gmail.com
Mon Apr 6 15:54:40 UTC 2009

This is of sufficient merit that I do it this way.

Aan u verzonden door GerardM via Google Reader: Court: Congress can't
put public domain back into copyright via Ars Technica door
nate at arstechnica.com (Nate Anderson) op 6-4-09
In 1994, Congress jammed a batch of foreign books and movies back into
the copyright closet. They had previously fallen into the public domain
for a variety of technical reasons (the author hadn't renewed the
rights with the US Copyright Office, the authors of older works hadn't
included a copyright notice, etc.) and companies and individuals had
already started reusing the newly public works. Did Congress have the
right to put a stop to this activity by shoving the works back into
copyright? On Friday, a federal court said no.
"Traditional contours of copyright"
1994's Uruguay Round Agreements Act (URAA) brought US intellectual
property law in line with that of other countries. Section 514 of URAA
better aligned US copyright law with the international Berne
Convention, one of the earliest international intellectual property
treaties. Though Berne had first been signed back in 1886, the US
hadn't joined up until a century later, in 1988.
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