This article undertakes a postmodern analysis of the term ‘Progress’ in the Constitution’s Copyright Clause, finding stewarding the production of knowledge is integral to the clause. First, by deconstructing the linear, forward assumption entailing Progress. As technology concentrates, Progress entails distributional fairness and decentralized control over knowledge. Relying on the writings of the Founders and recent copyright decisions, this article does not limit postmodernism to a theory recognizing that words have multiple meanings, instead it argues that the Copyright Clause transforms the idea of knowledge to a common resource like water and air, and places knowledge into a public trust, ultimately creating a fundamental right to access the trust. The Copyright Clause is not limited to mandating competition and innovation, it calls for a widely accessible information commons.
Postmodern 'Progress': Reconsidering the Copyright and Patent Power, 43 DEPAUL L. REV. 97