The works concerned are works that have been made public either because of the absence of international copyright agreements between the United States and the country of origin of the work, or because of non-compliance with the registration and notification of copyright procedures in the United States. These are also works that already had U.S. copyright, but were made public because of the lack of copyright renewal. The law defines all the works concerned as “restored works” and the copyright granted to you as a “restored copyright”, although many of these works never had an American copyright to restore it. The Uruguay Agreements Act (URAA; Pub.L. 103-465, 108 Stat. 4809, December 8, 1994) is a law of Congress in the United States that transposed the 1994 Marrakesh Agreement into U.S. law. The Marrakesh agreement was part of the Uruguayan round of negotiations that transformed the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) into the World Trade Organization (WTO). One of its effects is to grant the United States copyright protection for certain works that were previously available to the public in the United States. The United States was severely criticized for its unilateral denunciation of the retroactivity of the Article 18, Berne Convention and ultimately had to reverse its position. The copyright amendments introduced by URAA in 17 USC 104A have calmed the situation and brought US law into compliance with the requirements of the Bern Convention.  The United States had acceded to the Berne Convention on 1 March 1989, the date the 1988 Berne Convention came into force.
Article 18 of the Berne Convention provided that the treaty would cover all works that were still protected by copyright in their country of origin and were not publicly available in the country where copyright was invoked under the expiry of an earlier copyright.  Therefore, the United States should have granted copyright to foreign works that have never been copyrighted in the United States. But the United States denied this retroactivity of the Berne Convention and applied the treaty rules only to works first published after March 1, 1989.  Former foreign works that were not subject to other contracts and were not protected by copyright in the United States were not protected by copyright in the United States.  On April 3, 2009, in Golan v. Holder, Judge Lewis Babcock found the URAA a violation of the First Amendment.  The Tribunal found that URAA, Section 514, was much broader than necessary to achieve the interests of the state. By restoring the copyright of certain public works, claiming royalties and limiting derivative works after one year after their restoration, Congress has exceeded its constitutional authority and failed to fully protect the interests of the recruitment parties in the works of the First Amendment.   On March 7, 2011, the Supreme Court issued a Certiorari du Golan to hear the case.
 On January 18, 2012, the Supreme Court upheld the URAA in a 6:2 decision. The majority opinion was written by Ginsburg J.A. and Breyer J.A.`s dissent.  In particular, rights holders were required to submit a Notice of Information on Enforce (NIE) on their restored copyright or to inform former users of their works (i.e. existing trusted parties).