April 5, 2009 · Lessig
I am very happy and very very proud to report a big victory in Golan v. Holder. As you may recall, Golan was filed at the time Eldred v. Ashcroft was in the Supreme Court. The case challenged the URAA, which restored the copyright to works in the public domain. We lost in the district court, but then the CA10 reversed that decision, holding (for the first time ever) that the First Amendment restrained Congress when it changed the “traditional contours of copyright” beyond those explicitly mentioned in Eldred (idea/expression dichotomy and fair use). The CA10 sent the case back down to the district court, and Friday, Judge Babcock granted our motion for summary judgment, holding that the URAA violated the First Amendment to the extent it restored copyright against parties who had relied on works in the public domain.
I suspect we’ll be hearing more about this case.