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Goldstein v. California, 412 U.S. 546 (1973) p.791


federal preemption of state law


CA enacted a statute to make it criminal to pirate tapes (sound recordings).


Whether state law making it criminal to pirate audio tapes, is in conflict, or is preempted by federal law.


Since the state statute is not in conflict with the Federal law, the state law can stand.


CA statute is only focused on the sound recording. Congress did not act on sound when they enacted the copyright statute. THerefore, under the supremecy clause, since Federal did not act, that left it open to the states to act. Not in conflict with supremacy clause. States can enact laws where federal law has not, and long as the laws do not conflict, it is okay. Was the statute, that makes it a criminal offense to pirate sound recordings, in conflict with the Constitution? NO, copyright is to promote science and arts. To make it a criminal offense is not in conflict with promoting science and arts. In fact, it enhances science and arts.


In other cases, the state law conflicted with federal law, so the state had to give way to federal (in Compco case). Later, a federal law was enacted, so the CA law had to give way.

Created on: Thursday, November 11, 1999 at 19:46:51 (PST)

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