History of Copyrights
The 1710 Statute of Anne established the principles of authors' ownership of copyright and a fourteen year term of protection. The law prevented a monopoly on the part of the booksellers and created a "public domain" for literature after the expiration of the copyright and ensured that once a work was purchased the copyright owner no longer had complete control over its use. For the first time, the law provided for an author's copyright.
Then in 1787, the framers of the United States Constitution wrote in Article I, Section 8, "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."
A major revision of the U.S. Copyright Act was completed in 1909, among other things to address the needs of the brand new recording industry. "The bill broadened the scope of categories protected to include all works of authorship, and extended the term of protection to twenty-eight years with a possible renewal of twenty-eight. The main object to be desired in expanding copyright protection accorded to music has been to give the composer an adequate return for the value of his composition, and it has been a serious and difficult task to combine the protection of the composer with the protection of the public, and to so frame an act that it would accomplish the double purpose of securing to the composer an adequate return for all use made of his composition and at the same time prevent the formation of oppressive monopolies, which might be founded upon the very rights granted to the composer for the purpose of protecting his interests" (H.R. Rep. No. 2222, 60th Cong., 2nd Sess., p. 7 ).