Public Domain Here, Under Copyright There
O’Reilly Radar – “Public Domain Here, Under Copyright There” A new wrinkle. The Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case hinging on an obscure copyright question— can the government take artworks that have lapsed into the public domain, where anybody can use them, and put them back under copyright, where people have to pay to use them? If the law's upheld, it will affect the conductors, performers, educators, libraries, archivists and others who rely on the use and distribution of those foreign works, and create uncertainty as to the status of works currently presumed to be in the public domain. On the other hand, if the law is struck down as unconstitutional, there is the issue of our copyright laws being out of alignment with foreign copyright laws, and the risk that U.S. copyrighted works won't be recognized in European countries if we don't respect their copyrights here.