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The US District Court for the District of Colorado has just granted a motion for summary judgment in Golan v. Holder you will want to know about. It is a very big deal. Anthony Falzone, Executive Director of the Fair Use Project at Stanford's Center for Internet and Society, who led this effort, says, "It is the first time a court has held any part of the Copyright Act violates the First Amendment and the first time any court has placed specific constitutional limits on the government's ability to erode the public domain." I read it as saying that nothing, not any treaty, not even the Berne Convention, can trump the US Constitution.
That's what I love about it.
.... a Federal District Court in Colorado has held unconstitutional a portion of the Copyright Act, holding that 17 U.S.C. §104A, which restored copyright in certain foreign works that had previously fallen into the public domain, cannot survive First Amendment scrutiny. The government defended the statute by arguing that such restoration was required by Article 18 of the Berne Convention, the international copyright treaty that the US joined in 1988, but the court in Golan v. Holder today held that the First Amendment trumps such treaty obligations, and that the statute impermissibly interferes with the free speech rights of the plaintiffs, "artisans and businesses that rely upon works in the public domain for their trade."
Originally posted by Maxmars
Now, I know this is only Colorado.
Originally posted by LenGXV6
how does hallmark have the copyrights for "happy birthday to you"?
The person that penned the song retains copyright, unless they have sold that right, if not, then it is public domain.
I guess copyright works differently in Australia then in the US, here your work is automatically copyrighted from the moment you pen your great works, you do not apply for copyrights, but you can sell your copyright.
The Chicago-based music publisher Clayton F. Summy Company, working with Jessica Hill, published and copyrighted "Happy Birthday" in 1935. Under the laws in effect at the time, the Hills' copyright would have expired after one 28-year term and a renewal of similar length, falling into public domain by 1991. However, the Copyright Act of 1976 extended the term of copyright protection to 75 years from date of publication, and the Copyright Term Extension Act of 1998 added another 20 years, so under current law the copyright protection of "Happy Birthday" will remain intact until at least 2030.
Who does own the publishing rights to "Happy Birthday to You"? They were acquired by a New York accountant named John F. Sengstack when he bought the Clayton F. Summy Company in the 1930s; Sengstack eventually relocated the company to New Jersey and renamed it Birch Tree Ltd. in the 1970s. Warner Chappell (a Warner Communications division), the largest music publisher in the world, purchased Birch Tree Ltd. in late 1998 for a reported sale price of $25 million; the company then became Summy-Birchard Music, now a part of the giant AOL Time Warner media conglomerate. According to David Sengstack, president of Summy-Birchard, "Happy Birthday to You" brings in about $2 million in royalties annually, with the proceeds split between Summy-Birchard and the Hill Foundation....