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Entertainment Law

This guide will help you navigate the research process for entertainment law.

Primary Sources

The Constitution

Article 1, Section 8, Clause 8

"To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited time to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries"

First Amendment

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press..."


Federal statutes relavant to various aspects of the entertainment industry include, but are not limited to:

Copyright Act of 1909, Public Law 60-349, 35 Stat. 1075 (1909)
Sound Recording Act of 1971, Pub. L. No. 140, 85 Stat. 39 (1971)
Copyright Act of 1976, Pub. L. No. 94-553, 90 Stat. 2541 (1976)
Telecommunications Act of 1996, Pub. L. No. 104-104, 110 Stat. 56 (1996)
Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), Pub L. No. 105-304, 112 Stat. 2860 (1998)
Enforcement of Intellectual Rights Act of 2008 (Pro-IP Act), Pub. L. No. 110-403, 122 Stat. 4256 (2008)
Trademark Act of 1946 ("Lanham Act"), Pub. L. No.79-489, 60 Stat. 427 (1946)

The United States copyright law is codified and available in Title 17 of the United States Code (U.S.C.).

Several of the primary antitrust statutes are found in Title 15 of the United States Code (U.S.C).

The U.S. Code (U.S.C.) is the codification by subject matter of the general and permanent laws of the United States. The U.S.C. may be found online at:

Annotated versions of the U.S.C. can be found on Lexis (United States Code Service) or on Westlaw (United States Code Annotated).


Federal administrative regulations are codified in the Code of Federal Regulations.  Federal regulations relavant to various aspects of the entertainment industry include, but are not limited to:

37 C.F.R. secs. 200-299
37 C.F.R. secs. 300-399
47 C.F.R. secs. 70-79

The C.F.R. is available through Lexis, Westlaw, and Hein OnLine.

Case Law

To find case law pertaining to copyrights utilizing West's Federal Practice Digest, look under the West topic of "Copyrights and Intellectual Property."  Scan the topic outline to locate the appropriate key number.  In Westlaw, perform a search in the jurisdiction of your choice using the following search query:


"99" is the topic number for "Copyrights and Intellectual Property" and the aterisk * is a place holder for the key number of your choice.

Review Westlaw's Guide to Searching with Topic and Key Numbers

Under "Topical Practice Areas" on Westlaw, select the Copyright database to search for cases reported in the CCH Copyright Law Reporter.

CCH Copyright Law Reporter

The CCH Copyright Law Reporter database is listed on the library’s webpage under Resources.

BNA United States Patents Quarterly

BNA's Intellectual Property Library provides the full text of all decisions reported in United States Patents Quarterly from 1929 to the present.

The BNA United States Patents Quarterly is listed on the library’s webpage under the Resources.


Research in the "Copyright Law" library
for case law, statutes, regulations, treatises, and journal articles.