Globalist Treaty v. U.S. Constitution on Copyright Infringement

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If you want to rewrite Cinderella or one of Aesops Fables, you will find they are no longer copyrighted, so gain your inspiration from them and write away. Seventy years after an author’s death, works return to the public domain. Titles are never copyrighted. At least, that is the way it was.

Since 1994, U.S. copyright law must agree with the copyright laws of all other countries. It’s the globalist’s vision of copyright infringement. It came about because of an international treaty our country signed in 1994.

Currently, there is a copyright infringement case, before the SCOTUS, Golan v. Holder, which is testing the right of the government to sign a treaty that is not consistent with our Constitution. 

It is one of the most important copyright cases in our country’s history. It will decide the fate of millions of creative works, including early to mid 20th century foreign masterpieces which were taken out of the public domain, possibly violating the free speech rights of the American public by joining an international treaty.

In 1994, the U.S. signed a treaty in Uruguay which accepted intellectual property laws around the globe. Globalism run amok?

An orchestral conductor named Lawrence Golan filed suit when he was unable to create a work based on the compositions of Dmitri Shostakovich. This treaty gave copyright protection to some foreign authors who never enjoyed copyright protection or whose protection had lapsed. Golan was joined by many educators, performers, publishers, motion picture distributors, among others.

The argument being presented is that this treaty (URAA, Uruguay Round Agreements Act) violates the U.S. Constitution’s Copyright Clause (which promotes the Progress of Science and arts) and the First Amendment.

Anthony Falzone, who is arguing for Golan, said, “The progress of science corresponds roughly to the creation and spread of knowledge and learning. A statute that does nothing, like this one, does nothing but take old works out of the public domain without any impact or prospective incentives, cannot stimulate the creation of anything…All it can do is restrict the spread of things.”

Those on the other side believed the treaty bolsters copyright protection around the world (I wonder if China got that memo – kind of doubt it).

U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verilli, who is representing the other side, told the justices,  “The policy-making branches of our government decided we needed to be, and was in the national interest, to be part of the international copyright system.” He did meet with skepticism from the justices. Justice Scalia said, “It makes more money for the guy who wrote it, but doesn’t incentivize anybody.” Read here: The Hollywood Reporter

I wonder how we are supposed to know copyright infringement laws for every country? I can’t think of a better way to stifle creativity.

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