A 1994 statute extended U.S. copyright protection to foreign works previously unprotected in the United States, removing an estimated “millions” of foreign works from free, public domain availability. Recently, the Supreme Court of the United States upheld this law despite challenges based on the U.S. Constitution’s Copyright and Patent Clause and First Amendment.
In a 6–2 decision that some have criticized as a blow to free speech, the Supreme Court of the United States affirmed a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit upholding a federal law that restored copyright protection to foreign works that had entered the public domain in the United States. Golan v. Holder, Case No. 10-545, (Supreme Court January 18, 2012) (Ginsburg, J.) (Breyer, J., dissenting, joined by Alito, J.).
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