Federal copyright protection is derived from English laws that were created in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Similar protection was eventually included in the U.S. Constitution under the power of Congress:
“Article I Section 8 | Clause 8 - Patent and Copyright Clause of the Constitution.
[The Congress shall have power] "To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries."”
The writers of the Constitution had three purposes in mind when writing this clause. The first purpose, “To promote the progress of science and useful arts,” takes a proactive approach to protecting the works of authors and innovators in an attempt to encourage them to share their creativity for the good of society. The second purpose was to act as a defensive measure, preventing the theft of these works. The third purpose is not explicit. It implies that intellectual property is a natural right of citizens that should be protected.
The only exception to the copyright clause is the doctrine of “fair use.” Fair use is defined as “any copying of copyrighted material done for a limited and "transformative" purpose such as to comment upon, criticize or parody a copyrighted work,” without first receiving the author’s permission. Four factors must be considering when deciding on a claim of fair use, as outlined by Section 107 of the Copyright Act of 1976:
“ 1. [T]he purpose and character of the use,... [continues]
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