We haven’t been following the Golan case before the U.S. Supreme Court, but Techdirt explains how the Court has ruled that the United States can retroactively take works out of the public domain and put them back under copyright. The government’s claim is that this is necessary for a trade agreement to make other countries respect our copyright, but the end result is that it could (and likely will) be used to shrink the public domain. We’re all in favor of copyright giving incentives to creators, but we can’t see how putting the works of dead people back under copyright will result in any new work.
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