The Constitutional clause often referred to as the Copyright Clause involves granting the power to Congress:
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.
Many people get confused and don’t realize that the “Science” part was really about copyright (not the “useful arts.”) And, by “science” they really meant “learning.” In fact, the very first US Copyright law, in 1790, was entitled:
An ACT for the Encouragement of Learning
So you would think that the use of copyright law to block the encouragement of learning would be unconstitutional. Unfortunately, it happens all the time. Jon sent over the news that the online Technology Entrepreneurship class he’d been looking forward to taking from Stanford University has apparently been postponed due to copyright issues. According to the classes’ professor, Chuck Eesley:
Unfortunately, the launch of my Technology Entrepreneurship online course has been placed on hold, due to delays surrounding copyright and intellectual property clearance issues. We are working on this and I anticipate providing you with an update within the next few months.
In an age where there’s lots of support and interest in online education, to find out that copyright law, of all things, is being used to block education seems like a complete travesty.