Cases of copy right laws

1834: Wheaton v. Peters
The case upheld the power of Congress to make a grant of copyright protection subject to conditions and rejected the doctrine of a doctrine common law copyright. For specifics on the case view (

1841: Folsom v. Marsh and 1853: Stowe v. Thomas

These cases are commonly considered to be the first fair use case in the United States. For specifics on this case view (

1973: Williams and Wilkins Co. v. United States
In this case the decision held that it was a fair use for libraries to photocopy articles for use by patrons engaged in scientific research. For specifics on this case view (

1983: Encyclopedia Britannica Educational Corp. v. Crooks
In this case the District Court ruled that making off-the-air copies of publicly broadcast television programs does not constitute fair use even if it is intended for a non-commercial and charitable purpose. For specifics on this case view (


Begining of Copy Righting

The first copy right law goes back to 1700s with the 1710 Act name the Statue of Anne that established the principals of author’s ownership and a fixed term of protection of copyrighted works for fourteen years, and renewable for fourteen more if the author was alive upon expiration. In order for an author to receive any pay for their work the had to assign it to a bookseller or publisher. The next big step for copy rights came through the constitution in 1787 in Article 1 section 8 where it states “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.” This act would soon be revised several times later on
In 1831 the years of copy right protection was extended from fourteen years to twenty eight years, with possibility of a fourteen year extension. 1886 the Berne convention basically set the ground work for international copyright laws to be similar in different countries, in 1891 a bill was created in hopes to enforce the ideas that were discussed in the Berne convention. In 1909 the copy right act was revised again making the copy right protection to twenty eight years with twenty eight year extension.


Copy Right Global

Sure it’s illegal to plagiarize in America, stealing someone’s work and calling it your own but what if you don’t live in America? Or what if you live in America and someone outside the country is plagiarizing your work? Often work, ideas and stories are shared between different countries. The problem is sharing these ideas, works, and stories can be tricky when there isn’t a copyright law protecting them. There is no international copy right law that each country must follow but 160 countries have ratified a treaty – the Berne Convention, administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). The treaty protects in the simplest way copyrights works around the world. There are 38 articles in the Berne Convention with different rules and regulation on international copyrights, with five revisions for developing countries. There is a clear cut law when in comes to copyrights international, but there is something to protect people’s work so that countries all over are able to share in each others creative work. (Link to the Berne Convention article)