No First Amendment violation in statute restoring copyright rights of foreign authors

No First Amendment violation in statute restoring copyright rights of foreign authors

USA
July 29 2010

An amendment to the Copyright Act that grants copyright protection to various foreign works that were previously in the public domain in the United States is not violative of the First Amendment, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit ruled. The amendment restores copyright rights in foreign works that were formerly in the public domain in the United States for failure to comply with formalities, lack of subject matter protection, or lack of national eligibility. The court concluded that the amendment is a content-neutral regulation of speech, entitled to intermediate scrutiny under the First Amendment, and sustainable if it "advances important governmental interests unrelated to the suppression of free speech and does not burden substantially more speech than necessary to further those interests." The court held that the government had demonstrated a substantial interest in the protection of American copyright holders' interests abroad, and that the amendment was narrowly tailored to protect that interest.    

Golan v. Holder, 2010 U.S. App. LEXIS 12641 (10th Cir. June 21, 2010)