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Copyright Law Research Guide

This guide focuses on one area of intellectual property law, copyright law, and identifies print and electronic materials on the American federal copyright law system, focusing on the Copyright Act of 1976.


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With the information explosion of the 21st century, copyright law is now considered a central element of the nation's information economy. Whether the issue is downloading music or distance education, traditional copyright principles are being applied to new technologies in a way few could have predicted.

This research guide helps its readers select useful print and electronic materials on the American copyright law. The guide focuses on the Copyright Act of 1976, but refers to other intellectual property fields and international copyright where applicable.

Guide Organization

The guide is organized into the following four sections:

  1. Getting Started: A few introductory tips on starting research into copyright law.
  2. Primary Sources of American Copyright Law: A review of the Copyright Act of 1976 and major amendments, regulations for the Copyright Office and proposed copyright legislation.
  3. Secondary Sources of American Copyright Law: A review of the major treatises, journals, books and news outlets that cover copyright issues.
  4. Organizations and Associations: A list of government, private and advocacy organizations that consistently deal with copyright issues.

Intended Audience

This guide was created for the students, staff and faculty of the Georgetown University Law Center. All Library references ‹ including floor locations and call numbers ‹ are keyed to the collection at the Law Center's Edward Bennett Williams Law Library. Additionally, many of the title links reference the appropriate record in the Library's online catalog, GULLiver.

Members of the Georgetown University Community may seek additional assistance at the reference desk.