I guess I've never read that or paid any attention to that clause before, but one thing strikes me immediately upon reading it - the purpose of copyright laws is not to protect an individual's right to profit from his/her work; rather, the purpose is that of advancing science and art in broader society. Protecting the individual is only a means to this end.[Congress shall have the power] To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries.
Viewed in that light, do you think that today's copyright laws are over-broad? At what point does giving too many protections to the individual actually hamper the advancement of science and arts? I find the 70 years plus life of the author to be excessive and actually counter-productive to the original intent. Stuff should end up in the public domain in a far shorter time - I think the original 28 years seems far more reasonable.