At first blush, the Copyright Clause and the First Amendment of the United States Constitution appear to serve conflicting interests and to exist in irrevocable tension. On one hand, the Copyright Clause grants authors "the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries," thereby prohibiting others from utilizing certain forms of expression. On the other hand, the First Amendment prohibits Congress from "abridging the freedom of speech" and expression. ;Thus, by simultaneously prohibiting the use of another's expression and safeguarding expression, the two provisions appear to be on a constitutional collision course.
Harry Mihet, Universal City Studios, Inc. V. Corley: The Constitutional Underpinnings of Fair Use Remain an Open Question, 1 Duke Law & Technology Review 1-11 (2002)