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1: 10th Cir.: Restoring copyright protection to public domain works does not violate First Amendment
First off today, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled yesterday that Congress can take works that were in the public domain and place them under copyright protection again without worrying about violating freedom of speech. This move reverses a district court ruling that the Uruguay Round Agreements Act of 1994 unconstitutional. The act restored copyright on various foreign works that had entered the public domain in the U.S. but not in their home countries. It is unclear if this case is to be appealed to the Supreme Court.
Next up today, the Obama administration recently launched the Joint Strategic Plan for Intellectual Property Enforcement. Headed by Department of Homeland Security (DHS) secretary Janet Napolitano and Vice President Joe Biden, the plan is short on details but aims to improve cooperation and communication between copyright holders and law enforcement as well as improve enforcement in countries with lackluster policies. The plan is set to be reviewed in 120 days when more details may be added.
Finally today, the famous “Naked Cowboy”, who strolls around Times Square in a cowboy hat and little else, is having a spat with a “Naked Cowgirl” who has invaded his territory. He has sent a cease and desist letter to the girl claiming copyright infringement. According to the cowgirl, Sandy Kane, she had originally planned to team up with the original, Robert Burck, but plans fell apart after she refused to sign a franchise agreement. Burck had previously sued M&M makers Mars for an animated character that bore resemblance to him on similar grounds.
That’s it for the three count today. We will be back tomorrow with three more copyright links. If you have a link that you want to suggest a link for the column or have any proposals to make it better. Feel free to leave a comment or send me an email. I hope to hear from you.
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