Traditionally, copyright rights were zealously enforced, as evidenced by the fact that copyright infringement is a strict liability tort (intent is not relevant to copyright infringement liability). Customarily, the doctrine of Fair Use (17 U.S. Code §107) which was the most significant limitation on copyright rights was restricted to criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, or research. However, the Supreme Court’s expansion of the Fair Use Doctrine has eroded copyright protections. More precisely, the Supreme Court in Google LLC v. Oracle America, Inc., 141 S.Ct. 1183 (2021), dramatically expands fair use to allow copyrighted materials to be used more freely in technology settings. The Google v. Oracle ruling will likely expand fair use in other environments, as it is applied to the recent Second Circuit ruling.

Copyright law protects control ownership, use, and distribution of creative and expressive works (17 U.S. Code §106). Copyright protection, as constitutionally enacted, authorizes Congress to provide authors financial incentives to publish by granting them exclusive rights to their creations for a limited time.