In the last decade of the 20th Century, more than 200 years after the first Copyright Act of 1790, the rights of copyright owners have increased relative to those of the public. The Visual Artists Rights Act of 1990 provided a limited right to visual artists to control their work; even after sold, limiting first use rights. The first copyright act had a 28 year term; in 1998, the term of copyright was increased to the life of the author plus 70 years. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) of 1998 dramatically shrank the fair use rights provided under 17 U.S.C § 107 for works with anti-circumvention provisions.
Thomas J. Loos,
Fair Use and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act,
Mich. Telecomm. & Tech. L. Rev.
Available at: http://repository.law.umich.edu/mttlr/vol13/iss2/13