In this interview, Russell Rains, a lawyer and Director of the Digital Media Management MBA Program at St. Edward’s University in Austin, TX, gives a capsule history of intellectual property and copyright law in the Western tradition, from its genesis as an offshoot of property rights in the eighteenth century and its enshrinement in the United States Constitution, through the past two centuries of tension between the law and new technologies that continually challenge the ability of the law to adequately encompass what they can do.