The Supreme Court Rules on Congress’s Power to Grant Copyrights to Public Domain Works – Golan v. Holder - Podcast
Intellectual Property Practice Group Podcast
February 13, 2012Adam Mossoff, Christopher Newman, David S. Olson, Dean A. Reuter
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On January 18, 2012, the Supreme Court upheld Congress’s power under the Patent and Copyright Clause to grant copyrights to foreign authors for their works that had been in the public domain in the United States, often for decades. Congress had granted these copyrights as part of the enabling legislation pursuant to the 1994 round of the GATT agreements, according to which the U.S. was arguably required to grant copyrights to foreign authors if the authors’ works were still in copyright in their home countries.
Our IP experts will discuss the case and whether the Patent and Copyright Clause of the Constitution should allow granting copyrights to existing, public domain works, and more generally, what limitations the IP Clause and the First Amendment place on Congress when it passes IP laws. They will also discuss how the challenged law in Golan affects incentives to create and distribute inventive and artistic works, and what type of future IP laws Congress might pass given the license granted it by the Court in this case.
- Prof. Adam Mossoff, George Mason University School of Law
- Prof. Christopher Newman, George Mason University School of Law
- Prof. David Olson, Boston College Law School
- Moderator: Mr. Dean A. Reuter, Vice President & Director of Practice Groups, The Federalist Society
|Golan v. Holder Decision (PDF)|
|Golan v. Holder Oral Argument Transcript (PDF)|
|Golan v. Holder - Post-Decision SCOTUScast|