- 1787: Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. 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."
- Copyright Act of 1790
First U.S. Congress granted American authors the right to print, re-print, or publish their work for a period of fourteen years and to renew for another fourteen.The law was meant to provide an incentive to create original works by providing creators with a monopoly, but limited in order to stimulate creativity and the advancement of "science and the useful arts" through wide public access to works in the "public domain."
- Copyright Act of 1831
The term of protection of copyrighted works was extended to twenty-eight years with the possibility of a fourteen-year extension. Congress claimed that it extended the term in order to give American authors the same protection as those in Europe.
- 1841: Folsom v. Marsh
Court case establishing beginnings of "Fair Use" doctrine.
- Copyright Act of 1870
Established Library of Congress Copyright Office for centralized copyright registrations.
- Copyright Act of 1909
Broadened the scope to include all works of authorship, including music composers, and extended the term of protection to twenty-eight years with a possible renewal of twenty-eight.
- Copyright Act of 1976
Preempted all previous copyright law and extended the term of protection to life of the author plus 50 years. Codified fair use and first sale doctrines. Extended copyright to unpublished works.
- Section 108 allowed library photocopying without permission for purposes of scholarship, preservation, and interlibrary loan under certain circumstances.
- Section 107 defines "the fair use of a copyrighted work ... for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright."
- Section 104 defines the first sale doctrine, which allows the purchaser to transfer (i.e., sell, lend or give away) a particular lawfully made copy of the copyrighted work without permission once it has been obtained.
- House report to the Act established minimum guidelines for fair use in the classroom.
- CONTU guidelines establish guidelines for the amount of photocopying allowable in interlibrary loan arrangements.
- 1988: U.S. Signs Berne Convention
Established U.S. compliance with international copyright law and eliminated the requirement of copyright notice for copyright protection.
- 1998: Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act
Extended protection from life of the author plus fifty years to life of the author plus seventy years. An exception permits libraries and archives to treat copyrighted works in their last twenty years of protection as if they were in the public domain for non-commercial purposes, under certain limited conditions.
- 1998: Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA)
Prohibits gaining unauthorized access to a work by circumventing a technological protection measure put in place by the copyright owner.
- E.G., phone jailbreaking - exempted in 2010.
- 2002: Technology Education and Copyright Harmonization Act (TEACH) Act
Expansion to allow content delivery to students outside the classroom; to retain archival copies of course materials on servers; and authority to convert some works from analog to digital formats. Compliance required dissemination of copyright policies and implementation of technological restrictions on access and copying.
- 2008: Google Book Settlement
Google, the Association of American Publishers (AAP), and the Authors Guild reached a settlement agreement concerning Google’s (and partner esearch libraries') scanning of copyrighted works. The settlement focuses on in-copyright books that are not commercially available. Owners of commercially available, in-copyright books created prior to 2009, may opt-out of the settlement or opt-in to other terms with Google. Google will fund the establishment of the Book Rights Registry, jointly run by authors and publishers, to collect and distribute royalties.
- 2011: Rejection by U.S. District Court of terms of settlement for the class action suit itself, without challenging any of the fair use findings of the settlement.
- 2011: HathiTrust Orphan Works Project
An initiative led by the University of Michigan and partner libraries to expand access to the in-copyright works in the HathiTrust repository for which no rights holders can be found. The first step, to pin down the status of works in the HathiTrust collection published between 1923 and 1963, is underway. To comply with fair use, orphan works would need to be held by an institutions' library and would only be viewable by that institutions' own community.
- Section 104 - First Sale
- Allows the purchaser to transfer (i.e., sell, lend or give away) a particular lawfully made copy of the copyrighted work without permission once it has been obtained.
- Section 107 - Fair Use
- Use of copyrighted works without permission of copyright holder
- Socially beneficial results of the use outweigh the exclusive rights of the copyright holder
- Generally applies when the use is transformative, proportional, and gives credit to original
- Four Criteria - validity of use can only be determined on individual basis through court case
Section 108 - Replacement and Preservation for Libraries and Archives
- Purpose & character of the use - educational or non-commercial
- Nature of the copyrigthed work - varies with type of work; text most inclusive
- Amount & substantiality of the use - how much of work would be used
- Effect of the use on the market - economic loss to the copyright holder
Section 110 - Instruction
- Last 20 years of copyright protection
- Access limited to researchers at that institution
- Up to 3 copies of unpublished work if library owns original
- Up to 3 copies of damaged published work (including obsolete formats) if unused replacement cannot be purchased at fair price
- Portions for Users
- 1 copy of article or chapter from library-owned copy
- Entire Works for Users
- 1 copy of textual work (including illustrations) when not available for purchase at fair price
- Face to Face Instruction
- Performance - showing a video; playing a musical work; performing a scene, etc.
- Display - PowerPoint with copyrighted images or text; projecting content from a website.
- Online Classes (including Hybrid)
- TEACH Act (Technology, Education and Copyright Harmonization Act)
- Hosting articles or slides in BlackBoard
- Access to streaming video
- Must be limited to registered students, must be password protected, must be taken down after class is completed