In regards to copyright the U.S. Constitution states: "Congress shall have 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." The intellectual property clause was added to the Constitution because of the recognition of the importance of balancing both an author's interest in protecting their creative works with the public interest in maintaining a method by which those same works could enter the public domain. However, the ability to properly perform this balancing act has proven more difficult than anyone could have expected. A recent Supreme Court case has tipped the scales and given artists and creators their just due.
Shalisha Francis, Eldred v. Ashcroft: How Artists and Creators Finally Got Their Due, 2 Duke Law & Technology Review 1-10 (2003)