Copyrights and Patents

In the US Constitution (Article 1, section 8, cl. 8), Congress is granted the authority to "promote the Progress of Science and Useful Art, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries."



For more information on copyrights and patents, see these pages:
NOLO web page
US Patent and Trademark Office
Library of Congress Copyright Office
Fair Use Doctrine
Copyright Law in the Electronic Environment, by Georgia Harper
C|net Page on Copyright Law
USC Title 17, ch. 3, Duration of Copyrights
Copyright Resource Page

For an interesting plan to handle intellectual property in the future, see Ted Nelson's work.

Disclaimer: The notes here were not prepared by an attorney. Anyone with serious copyright or patent questions should seek appropriate legal counsel.