“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.”
— United States Constitution, Article I, Section 8
The United States Copyright Office's website notes that copyright has been a part of U.S. law since the nation’s founding. Congress passed the first federal copyright law in 1790, and has updated it throughout the years to keep up with the times.
What is Copyright?
Copyright is the legal protection that allows authors, artists, photographers, composers, and other creators to control the reproduction and distribution of their work.
What is Fair Use?
“Fair use” is the acceptable use of copyrighted materials without obtaining permission from the author or owner. It is generally granted for the purposes of research, teaching and scholarship.