Copyright and its enforcement have challenged society for centuries, ever since the invention of the printing press. With the advent of the Internet and its massive amount of available content, a floodgate has been breached that US and international copyright laws are attempting to stanch. But these laws are severely hampered by the easy access to and widespread sharing of digital materials worldwide. Copyright wasn't easy to understand, much less force compliance to, in its early incarnations either. British Parliament passed the first copyright law, the Licensing of the Press Act 1662, to prevent potential abuses engendered by the printing press. The US Congress soon followed its British counterpart and passed the first federal copyright act, the Copyright Act of 1790, which essentially mimicked the Statute of Anne and also granted an author a term of 14 years. Since the, the legislature has passed several revisions to the original act and to the term granted an author.
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