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U.S. Copyright Law: Introduction

Welcome! ¡Bienvenidos!

Late 19th century newspaper advertisement for copyright registration services.

Disclaimer / Renuncia

This guide has been created by Rachel Mitchell in support of Professor Diamond's Advanced Legal Research class for Fall 2017. The contents of this guide should not be taken as legal advice or as the work product of Mizzou Law librarians.

Introduction / Introducción


U.S. Copyright Law Research Guide

Copyright is a concept derived from the United States Constitution. Article I, section 8, clause 8 provides that Congress can enact law "to promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries."

Purpose. This guide is intended to assist those interested in copyright law find research sources. This guide will provide resources for copyright law generally and address selected issues in copyright law. 

Scope. This guide will focus on copyright law in the United States. While it will also provide some resources for intellectual property generally and for international sources, those related topics will not be central to this guide.

Guidance. Copyright is generally a federal law issue in the United States. It is also a vast subject with decades of legislation and case law behind it. For this reason, secondary sources provide a great avenue to begin your journey into copyright law. Treatises, for example, not only cover the depths of copyright law, but they also often provide an outline or table of contents which makes it much easier to find the topic you are looking for or are interested in. This guide will provide many great secondary sources for the would-be copyright connoisseur. 

Translation / La Traducción

For your convenience, you may use the box below to translate this guide to your preferred language. Use the drop down box to select the language you want to read in. Para su comodidad, puede usar el cuadro abajo para traducir esta guía a su idoma preferido. Usa el cuadro desplegable para seleccionar el idioma que querar leer.