‘Steamboat Willie,’ Josh Hawley, and Copyright Terms: Explained


Publish Date:
May 18, 2022
Bloomberg Law
Related Person(s):
Related Organization(s):


Retroactive shortening of copyright terms, especially for a singled-out class of companies, would deprive owners of their property rights in violation of the Fifth Amendment guarantee of due process, Paul Goldstein, a law professor at Stanford, said. Doing so to punish Disney for its political statements would constitute viewpoint-based discrimination prohibited by the First Amendment, according to Lifschitz.

Additionally, Hawley’s bill would put the US in conflict with the terms of the Berne Convention, an international treaty that requires a minimum copyright protection term of the author’s life plus 50 years.

“There are lots of gray areas in copyright. There’s no gray area in this bill,” Goldstein said.

Read More