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Copyright Law: Primary Sources

An introduction to copyright research aimed at assisting Prof. Tonya Evan's Copyright in the 21st Century seminar class.

Copyright Statutes

Most of federal copyright law is found in the Copyright Act of 1976 and its various amendments:

Slip Law:Pub. L. 94-533

Session Law:  90 Stat. 2541
Available from HeinOnline

Codified in Title  17 of the U.S. Code.
In addition to Bloomberg Law, Lexis and Westlaw, the copyright laws can be found at:

Cornell's Legal Information Institute

U.S. Copyright Office

Amendments and additions to the 1976 Act include:

The Digital Millinium Copyright Act of 1998

The Copyright Royalty and Distribution Reform Act of 2004

Legislative History

Before you begin searching for legislative history on your own, there are a couple databases you should check to see if someone has already compiled one.  Some of these resources include:

HeinOnline U.S. Federal Legislative History Library
Look for "Federal Copyright Law"

ProQuest Congressional

Widener Library Catalog
Search for "legislative history copyright"

Copyright Regulations

Generally, copyright regulations are found in Title 37, Parts 201 - 270 of the Code of Federal Regulations.  In addition to Bloomberg Law, Lexis and Westlaw, copyright regulations can be found on:

The U.S. Copyright Office's website

GPO's FdSys database

Notices from the Federal Register dealing with copyright law can be found in the following places:

The U.S. Copyright Office's website

GPO's FedSys database

Copyright Cases

Copyright opinions are grouped together and available through several online databases, including:

Bloomberg Law Copyright practice center
Copyright opinions can be searched by Court, and opinions can be found in several IP and copyright publications including BNA's Patent, Trademark and Copyright Journal. 

BNA United States Patent Quarterly
Current copyright-related opinions organized by topic 

CCH Copyright Law Reporter
This service combines laws, regulations, news, and copyright-related opinions.