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10th Circuit Brings Foreign Copyrights Back From The Dead

Publication Date: 
June 22, 2010
Source: - On The Docket
Sam Howard

Lecturer and executive director of the Fair Use Project Anthony Falzone is quoted on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit's decision in Golan v. Holder (URAA case) and the resurrection of foreign copyright:

Reversing a lower court in a closely watched case, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit has determined that a trade treaty that restores copyright protection to foreign works previously in the public domain is not unconstitutional.

On Monday the Tenth Circuit repelled a constitutional challenge to the Uruguay Round Agreements Act — which restored copyrights in the U.S. for certain foreign works — and faulted the district court for ruling that Section 514 of the act violates plaintiffs’ freedom of expression under the First Amendment.


Stanford Law School's Anthony Falzone, counsel for plaintiffs, regretted the ruling but seized on the significance of the case in general.

"We're obviously disappointed with the Tenth Circuit's decision, and we're considering whether to seek further review," Falzone said. "But either way this case stands a landmark. It shows copyright legislation can be subject to real First Amendment scrutiny."