Abstract

Personal use is when an individual uses a copyrighted work for private purposes, such as learning or entertainment. Personal use is a right given in the Copyright Clause of the U.S. Constitution, however, an issue arises when the individual wants to make a copy of the copyrighted work. New technologies like photocopying and videotaping make this issue more prominent today. Some copyright owners think that the individual’s copying for private use is harmful to their potential market and they argue for compensation. Does the individual have the right under the personal use principle to reproduce the copyrighted work for private reasons? If so, what is the scope of this kind of reproduction? In order to answer these questions, this paper examines two conflicting theories concerning the nature of copyright: the natural-law property right theory, and the positive-law theory.