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Supreme Court OKs Public Domain Works Being Copyrighted

Posted: Thursday, Jan 19, 2012 @ 11:14 am | Written by Gene Quinn | 37 comments
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Posted in: Congress, Copyright, Gene Quinn, International, IP News, IPWatchdog.com Articles, US Supreme Court

Yesterday the United States Supreme Court issued a truly regrettable decision in the much anticipated copyright case Golan v. Holder.  At issue in this case was nothing short of whether the United States Congress has the authority to restore copyrights in works that were in the public domain, or in other words whether Congress has the authority to strip works from the public domain and grant copyright protection.  In one of the more intellectual dishonest decisions I have ever read, the U.S. Supreme Court, per Justice Ginsburg, determined that Congress can pretty much do whatever it is that they want with respect to copyrights.  Removing works from the public domain and restoring copyright protection is said to be a power granted to the Congress under the Constitution, and there are no legitimate First Amendment concerns.

To all those who can read the Constitution it has to be clear that the Supreme Court’s decision in Golan v. Holder is absurd.  It is a ridiculous decision that lacks intellectual honesty and defies common sense.  Further, the facts of this case provide ample ground for the suspicions of many who wonder why it is that the United States is so interested in losing its identity and compromising Constitutional principles in order to facilitate some ill conceived plan to join the world community.  Simply stated, treaties and international law cannot trump the Constitution.  With all due respect to the six Justices who ruled in favor of stripping works from the public domain, the Constitution does not support this decision and any attempts to argue to the contrary are insulting and show a contemptuous understanding of the history and role of intellectual property in America.