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Supreme Court Grants Certiorari in Copyright Restoration Dispute

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The constitutionality of Section 514 of the Uruguay Round Agreements Act (URAA), which restores copyrights in foreign works formerly within the United States' public domain, will soon be debated before the U.S. Supreme Court, which granted certiorari yesterday morning ( Lawrence...

Canal+ Image UK Ltd. v. Lutvak, USDC S.D. New York, March 29, 2011

By Jonathan Zavin of Loeb & Loeb LLP Click here for a copy of the full decision . In copyright infringement action, court grants defendants' motion to dismiss, concluding that no reasonable jury could find that defendants' musical is substantially similar to plaintiff's film...

Copyright Holder Challenges Copyright Law as Restrictive to His Right to Transfer Musical Composition into the Public Domain

On Wednesday, Fritz Joseph Orzelek filed a complaint against Eric Holder, challenging the Copyright law as a restriction upon transferring rights to the public domain. According to Mr. Orzelek, releasing his musical composition into the public domain "may not be possible due to the inherent...

Film Characters in the Public Domain: Eighth Circuit Limits Right to Reproduce Publicity Stills from Wizard of Oz, Gone with the Wind and Tom & Jerry

On Tuesday, the Eighth Circuit issued a copyright opinion addressing character rights, public domain images, and works (two-dimensional, three-dimensional and composites) composed of public domain materials. In Warner Bros. Entm't v. X One X Prods ., 2011 U.S. App. LEXIS 13646 (8th Cir. Mo. July...

Mary LaFrance on Character Copyrights and the Public Domain

When does a still image -- or a series of such images -- embody a "character" for purposes of copyright law? In Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc. v. X One X Prods ., 2011 U.S. App. LEXIS 13646 (8th Cir. July 5, 2011) [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers / unenhanced version...

Copyright Restoration: The Supreme Court's Upcoming Decision in Golan v. Holder

The Supreme Court is being asked to determine whether Congress violated the Constitution when it restored copyrights in certain foreign works that had entered the public domain in the US. If the Court holds that it was unconstitutional, the copyright owners will be stripped of their exclusive rights...

Supreme Court Hears Dispute over Copyright Restoration, Public Domain Works

WASHINGTON, D.C. - (Mealey's) Formerly copyrighted works or never copyrighted works that have fallen into the public domain become the property of the public, a Stanford University professor told the U.S. Supreme Court yesterday ( Lawrence Golan, et al. v. Eric H. Holder Jr., et al. , No. 10...

Copyrights Continue to Taunt the Public Domain

Recently, Duke University's Center for the Study of the Public Domain posted an article on works published in 1955 that would have entered 2012's public domain but for the 1976 Copyright Act (effective 1978). Some of the works include: J.R.R. Tolkien's The Return of the King ...

Supreme Court Sides With Government In Dispute Over Public Domain Works

WASHINGTON, D.C. - (Mealey's) Congress did not exceed its authority in enacting Section 514 of the Uruguay Round Agreements Act (URAA), which extended protection to foreign works that would otherwise fall into the public domain, a divided U.S. Supreme Court ruled today ( Lawrence Golan, et al...

Supreme Court Upheld Constitutionality of Copyright Restoration: Golan v. Holder

In Golan v. Holder [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ], the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of 17 U.S.C. § 104A , which restores the copyright in certain foreign works that have entered the public domain in the US. The Court avoided a possible conflict with international...

Elementary, My Dear Watson: Author Seeks to Firmly Establish Sherlock Holmes’ Entry into the Public Domain

The world's greatest detective could be yours free of licensing fees as a recent complaint seeks to establish the boundaries of Sherlock Holmes' entry into the public domain. Yesterday, Leslie S. Klinger, the author and editor of multiple Sherlock Holmes' articles and books, filed a...