The Democratic Public Domain: Reconnecting the Modern First Amendment and the Original Progress Clause (a.k.a. Copyright and Patent Clause)


If the Progress Clause, a.k.a. the Patent and Copyright Clause, of the U.S. Constitution had been construed when its original meaning was still obvious, United States law would be far different. In this area at least, the Drafters’ Constitution was much less aristocratic than the modern (mis)reading. The original meaning of the Progress Clause, furthermore, should have stimulated a more communitarian First Amendment, the type of First Amendment currently being suggested by leading First Amendment scholars such as Jack Balkin.


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Date of this Version

March 2004