D. DC: 17 U.S.C. ?104A Not Unconstitutional
from LUCK'S MUSIC LIBRARY, INC. v. ASHCROFT (D. DC, June 10, 2004):
This case came before the district court on the defendants’ motion to dismiss. The plaintiffs Luck’s Music Library, Inc. and Moviecraft, Inc. bring suit alleging that Section 514 of the Uruguay Round Agreements Act ("the URAA"), Pub. L. No. 103-465, amending 17 U.S.C. § 104A ("Copyright in Restored Works"), is unconstitutional.
The law restores copyright to foreign copyright holders whose works remain protected in their origin country, but entered the public domain in the United States due to the (a) failure of the foreign copyright holder to comply with the United States’ copyright formalities, (b) absence of prior subject-matter protection such as sound recordings fixed before 1972, or (c) failure of the United States to recognize copyrights from that country. 17 U.S.C. § 104A(h)(6).
John Ashcroft, Attorney General of the United States, and Marybeth Peters, Register of Copyrights moved to dismiss the case on the ground that the plaintiffs failed to state a claim on which relief can be granted. Because Section 514 does not overstep Congress’ power under the Intellectual Property clause of the Constitution ("IP Clause") and does not violate the First Amendment, the court granted the defendants’ motion to dismiss."
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