ABA Urges Supreme Court to Uphold Congress’ Power to Restore Copyrights When Required by Treaties

CHICAGO, Aug. 11, 2011 – In the U.S. Supreme Court case of Golan v. Holder, the _ has filed an amicus curiae brief supporting Congress’ power to implement U.S. treaty obligations by restoring copyrights in certain non-U.S. works that were in the public domain.

The brief also states the ABA’s position that Section 514 of the Uruguay Round Agreements Act of 1994 does not violate the Constitution’s copyright clause or the First Amendment.

“It is important for the United States to comply with the international treaties that this country has ratified, and to do so in a way that does not encourage other countries to disregard their obligations under those treaties …,” the brief states. “Congress made a judgment that Section 514 was the appropriate way to comply with the Berne Convention and the [Trade Related Aspects of International Property Rights] agreement, and would result in important protections abroad for U.S. authors.”

The brief states that the ABA’s 25,000-member Section of Intellectual Property Law, which helped craft the ABA policy discussed in the brief, “represents diverse interests, including copyright owners, users of works of authorship, large and small corporations, libraries, universities, and individual authors.”

The brief is available here.

With nearly 400,000 members, the _ is the world’s largest voluntary professional membership organization. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law.

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