Few realize that the Constitution grants Congress 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” in Article I, Section 8. This clause has been interpreted as giving power to Congress to create laws governing copyrights and patents.
We now think of the word useful as meaning “being of use or service” or “to serve some purpose.” Useful has an interesting etymological history. According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, the word use comes from Latin, which meant enjoyment with the other definitions we still ascribe to “use” including: to make use of, profit by, take advantage of, apply, consume. Courts and Congress have read enjoyment as part of the useful arts as we grant completely fictitious works copyright protection. So, when you think about “Useful Arts,” remember that is a broad definition where useful includes things that are useful solely because of our own enjoyment.
As you are thinking about all of the books that you have enjoyed, perhaps you can consider donating one of those books to the Library’s 6th Annual Book Drive for Pediatric Cancer Patients. You can drop them off at the following locations:
- Davis Library Lobby
- Undergraduate Library Lobby
- Wilson Library Lobby
- Health Sciences Library, 1st Floor Lobby
- Law Library
- School of Information and Library Science, Manning Hall lobby and SILS Library
- School of Education, Peabody Hall,
- Office of Student Affairs lobby, 1st floor
- School of Social Work, Tate-Turner-Kuralt Building lobby
- FedEx Global Education Center, Peacock Atrium
- Bull’s Head Bookshop
In addition, if you can’t part with any of your old favorites, then you can always go to the Bull’s Head Bookshop, mention “Book Fairy” when you buy a book and receive a 25% discount. More information is available here. Remember Friday is the last day to donate!
And, if you have any questions about the purpose of Copyright law, then come in and talk to us in the Scholarly Communications Office!