Georgetown Law
Georgetown Law Library

Communications Law Research Guide

This guide suggests resources in media law, First Amendment, cable and broadcasting law, computer and internet law, and telecommunications.


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Secondary Sources

Treatises & Study Aids

Books are often excellent places to start your research. You can find a discussion of the law and citations to leading cases and relevant regulations. Below are a few of the treatises available in the Georgetown Law Library:

1. Stuart N. Brotman, Communications Law and Practice KF2765 .H36 1995.

Loose-leaf for updating at least once per year. Overview of broadcast, telephone, satellite and cable regulation.

2. Peter Huber et al., Federal Telecommunications Law KF2765 .K45 1999.

Covers FCC rule-making and other powers, interconnection rules, universal service, data services, antitrust, privacy, intellectual property, free speech, and other issues related to telecommunications. Supplemented annually.

3. Harvey L. Zuckman et al., Modern Communications Law KF2760 .A7 L583 1999.

Overview of the many aspects of communications law: media law, First Amendment, telecommunications, cable television, broadcasting, and radio spectrum.

4. T. Barton Carter, Juliet Lushbough Dee, & Harvey L. Zuckman, Mass Communication Law in a Nutshell (2007). KF2750.Z9 Z8 2007.

Brief introduction to federal telecommunications and media law, intended for law students.

5. Charles D. Ferris and Frank W. Lloyd, Telecommunications Regulation: Cable, Broadcasting, Satellite, and the Internet (200? -). LEXIS Electronic

Comprehensive treatise on local, state, and federal regulation of telecommunications. Formerly known as Cable Television

6. Kent D. Stuckey, Internet and Online Law (1996-) KF390.5.C6 S78LEXIS Electronic

Contracting in the electronic environment, defamation, factual misstatements and intellectual property issues are just some of the topics covered in this guide to Internet and Online Law. Updated twice a year on Westlaw.

7. Raymond T. Nimmer, Law of Computer Technology: Rights, Licenses, and Liabilities,KF390.5.C6 N56Westlaw

Organized into three major parts: Innovations and incentives; Transactions and third party liability; and Information Age issues

8. George B. Delta & Jeffrey H. Matsuura, Law of the InternetKF390.5.C6 D45Westlaw

Covers topics such as applying privacy laws to electronic communications issues, ensuring secure electronic transactions, cryptography, and digital signatures, protecting intellectual property online through link licenses and jurisdiction in cyberspace, as well as others.

To find additional books on your topic, search the library catalog. For tips on effective search, read our GULLiver Guide or watch our GULLiver Tutorial. Keyword searching is usually the best way to start your search for legal treatises. If you want to search by subject heading, try the following subject headings:

Academic Journals and Journal Databases



  • ACM Digital Library - Offers access to journal articles and proceedings of the Association of Computer Machinery subgroups, including the Computer and Communications Security, Communications Architectures and Protocols, Communication System Software and Middleware and hundreds more.
  • ComAbstracts (Communication Institute for Online Scholarship) (1970-) On-Campus Access only.
    Bibliographic database providing abstracts to articles from over 80 communication journals (including a few European and Australian journals). Coverage includes communications-related disciplines: human communication studies, speech communication, rhetoric, journalism, mass communications, etc.
  • Communication & Mass Media Complete (coverage varies by journal; most available from the 2000s on).
    This database provides full-text access to about 200 journals in the area of communication and mass media, as well as citation coverage for additional sources.
  • ProQuest Telecommunications (1986-).
    This database includes over 100 telecommunications industry publications, such as magazines, journals, and newsletters for this industry.


  • ABI/Inform.
    Indexes and abstracts to articles in 1300 business and management publications, with varying coverage, some citations dating back to the 1970s. Includes 350 titles from outside the U.S. Also contains full-text articles from more than 600 sources. Many sources available from Communications & Mass Media Complete are also available from this database.
  • Academic Search Premier (1975-).
    Provides full text from 3,467 publications covering academic areas of study including social sciences, humanities, education, and linguistics, arts and literature, medical sciences, and ethnic studies.
  • ProQuest Research LibraryProquest Research Library Tutorial
    Indexes and abstracts to articles in more than 1800 general publications, with varying coverage dates, most beginning in the late 1980's. Also, complete articles from approximately 200 popular periodicals. Many but not all sources available in ProQuest Telecommunications are available in this database.

News and Current Awareness

It is crucial when practicing or researching in heavily regulated areas of law such as communications to keep on top of new developments. A few of the tools available for doing so are listed below.

  • Computer Technology Law Report (BNA) Online access for Georgetown Law students & faculty only
    Biweekly coverage of legal developments in liability and insurance coverage issues relating to computers -- from network security to packaging and protecting digital assets.

  • Cyberspace Law: The Legal Scholarship Network
    "Publishes abstracts of papers dealing with all aspects of the regulation of cyberspace, whether that regulation is through law, social norms, or the architecture of the network. The approach of the journal is inter-disciplinary: We will abstract papers in law and in other related social science disciplines that raise issues related to the regulation of cyberspace."

  • E-Commerce Law Daily (BNA) Online access for Georgetown Law students & faculty only
    Provides daily report on a national and global perspective on new developments affecting the law of electronic commerce, and all relevant practice area

  • Electronic Commerce and Law Report (BNA) Online access for Georgetown Law students & faculty only
    A weekly newsletter covering legal developments and trends in the major legal issues surrounding digital communications -- contents, transactions, and infrastructure, on federal, state, and international levels. This database contains all issues published since April 12, 1996.

  • World Data Protection Report (BNA) Online access for Georgetown Law students & faculty only
    Covers developments in worldwide privacy law. Published monthly.
  • FCC Daily Digest provides a brief synopsis of Commission orders, news releases, speeches, public notices and all other FCC documents that are released each business day.
  • Headlines (on the FCC web site) is the best source for up-to-the-minute status and links to the latest and highest profile items at the Commission, and for other important notices.
  • Communications Daily (The daily newsletter covers telecommunications, broadcasting, cable televisions, and the electronic media)

  • Media Law Reporter (BNA) publishes U.S. Supreme Court and selected state and lower federal court decisions on all aspects of media law, including First Amendment, broadcast and cable regulation, and entertainment law. KF2750 .A513Media Law Reporter Online.
  • Telecommunications Monitor (BNA) is a daily bulletin with detailed coverage of the most significant regulatory, legislative, and judicial decisions and developments affecting telecommunications.Telecommunications Monitor Online.
  • is a regulatory information service focused on federal telecommunications law. To sign up for FCC docket alerts through the service, contact Carla Wale.

  • Broadcast Law Blog
    • This blog by law firm Davis Wright Tremaine, LLP, reports on developments in the regulation of broadcast television and radio, as well as Internet radio and television and other online media.
  • CommLawBlog
    • This blog from law firm Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth analyses recent developments in communications law and regulation, including the areas of broadcast, cable, wireless, satellite radio, the First Amendment, and intellectual property.


  • Newton's Telecom Dictionary: the Official Dictionary of Telecommunications & The Internet TK5102 .N48 2005
  • Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions Telecom Glossary
    ATIS develops standards and solutions addressing a wide range of industry issues in a manner that allocates and coordinates industry resources and produces the greatest return for communications companies. It is accredited by the American National Standards Institute.