"Due to Napster and DeCSS, copyright has found its way into
the spotlight, at least in some Internet circles. Unfortunately,
this has happened almost 25 years after the major portion of the
damage was done."
"Before I explain that comment, let's take a little look into
history, all the way back to the creation of the Constitution of
the United States of America. How many have read it? If you have,
you're one of less than 25 percent of the American people (assuming
you're American). Article 1, Section 8, Clause 8 deals with
copyright and reads as follows: "The Congress shall have Powers 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."
"That is the basis for all copyright law in America and is,
supposedly, the article that Congress looks to every time they
decide a change to copyright law is warranted. Of course, the
wording leaves some points open to interpretation, but the entire
Constitution was designed that way (one of the main reasons George
Washington wouldn't support it.) Still, the Congress of the time
interpreted the "limited times" portion as meaning 14 years, which
was renewable for a second 14 years and a maximum of 28 years. The
average person would see a favorite work reach the public domain in
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