In 1987, lawyers for Simon and Schuster sued the New York authorities to enjoin enforcement of the Son of Sam law. Their case involved the book Wiseguy, written by Nicholas Pileggi about ex-mobster Henry Hill and used as the basis for the film Goodfellas. The case reached the Supreme Court in 1991. In an 8-0 ruling, the court ruled the law unconstitutional. Simon & Schuster v. Crime Victims Board 502 U.S. 105 (1991). The majority opinion was that the law was overinclusive, and would have prevented the publication of such works as The Autobiography of Malcolm X, Thoreau's Civil Disobedience, and even The Confessions of Saint Augustine.
The Supreme Court ruling actually stated that Son of Sam laws could conceivably be constitutional, but only if written very carefully with regard to First Amendment concerns. Though this original New York law was struck down, various states (including New York) have laws to prevent felons from capitalizing on their crimes written with an eye towards adhering to the First Amendment ruling laid out by the Supreme Court.
New York, after numerous revisions, adopted a law in 2001 again known as the "Son of Sam" law. This law requires that victims of crimes be notified whenever a person convicted of a crime received $10,000 (US) or more--from virtually any source. The law then attaches a springing statute of limitations, giving victims an extended period of time to sue the perperator of the crime for the crimes of which they were the victim. This law also authorizes a state agency, the Crime Victims' Board, to act of the victims' behalf in some limited circumstances. Thus far, the current New York law has survived constitutional scrutiny.