Today in Copyright History: 6/21

On June 21, 1788, the U.S. Constitution was ratified.  Article I, Section 8, Clause 8 (the Copyright Clause) gives Congress the 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.”  This language serves as the constitutional foundation of U.S. copyright law, and gave rise to the first federal copyright act, the Copyright Act of 1790, two years later.  Reposted from the History of Copyright Timeline at the U.S. Copyright Office.

 Howard Chandler Christy [Public domain], via  Wikimedia Commons .

Howard Chandler Christy [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.