This case arose out of U.S. treaty obligations to restore copyright to foreign authors who had failed to comply with the pre-1989 formalities in the law. Section 514 of the Uruguay Round Agreement Act (URAA) restores those copyrights and, in doing so, allowed thousands of widely disseminated works to be removed from the public domain. Petitioners challenge the law—arguing that the law overreaches constitutional authority and violates speech rights protected by the First Amendment.
Dennis D. Crouch and Ted Wright,
Copyright Versus the Public Domain: Does the Constitution Allow Congress to Take Works from the Public Domain and Replace Those with Private Exclusive Rights?, 39 Preview of United States Supreme Court Cases 46
Available at: https://scholarship.law.missouri.edu/facpubs/775