Copyright has been part of the U.S. legal system since the earliest days of the Republic. It is specifically authorized in the Constitution24, and the first U.S. Copyright Act was passed in 1789.25 The Acts most relevant to the brittle book program are the Copyright Act of 190926 which was in effect for 69 years and the current Copyright Act of 197627 which took effect January 1, 1978. Throughout this paper, references will be made to the "old act" and the "new act", since the rules of the old act are still applicable in some cases.
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