It’s actually worse than that. Copyright and patents are the exception and limitation. Not fair use.
Property rights are considered inalienable rights in the Constitution. They’re also considered natural rights. They can be thought of as inherent rights. They’re not given by government. They are given by nature itself. The purpose of government is not to give such rights, but to protect such rights. And the government can only intrude upon such rights through due process.
Unlike property rights, copyrights and patents needed to be explicitly included in the Constitution because they were not natural. The concept of giving out monopoly rights to ideas was contrary to nature. Thus, such monopolies were by their nature an exception and highly limited.
As pointed out here before. Copyrights originally lasted only 15 years. And even more interesting, copyrights did not cover music or literature.
But as money was made on these limited monopolies, those who collected the rents needed more gates from which to collected upon. So music was added. Literature was added. The length of time was increased. The monopoly on publishing was not enough. Soon performances were added. And now we’re stuck with a convoluted draconian system where we need to pay a license to combine music with video, separate from the publishing right, and separate from the performance right.
The reason we think of fair use as a limitation and an exception, is because for over two centuries, copyright law has turned on its head.