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them available to the public for no direct payment by the user.3 Public access and use occur in a variety of ways, including purchase (new or used), borrowing (from libraries or friends), educational exposure, and reading of commentary that quotes a work. To date, this collection of mechanisms has worked well, providing protection and thus incentive to authors and rights holders while also ensuring wide public access to work through a variety of routes.4
Changes brought about by digital intellectual property (IP) and the information infrastructure are challenging the existing set of policies and practices for public access. This chapter focuses on the implications of those changes for public access, including both the optimistic and pessimistic projections of their possible consequences.
Public Access is an Important Goal of Copyright
U.S. courts and commentators have repeatedly emphasized the fundamentally utilitarian nature of copyright, noting that the Constitution provides for intellectual property protection with the pragmatic goal of promoting the public interest in access to knowledge and innovation. This intent is evident from the Constitution's grant to Congress of 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 United States v. Paramount Pictures, Inc., the Supreme Court's decision considered the purpose of this clause:5
Further comment on the constitutional concern with access to infor-