Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.


This guide lists and describes helpful resources to consider when conducting copyright law research.

Legislative History

Locating Copyright Legislative Histories

There are many pieces of legislation that make up the framework of copyright law in the U.S. When searching tasked with compiling a legislative history, it's best to start by searching for an already compiled history. (If you need additional information on what a legislative history is, visit our Federal Legislative History LibGuide.) The best place to access already compiled legislative histories is through ProQuest Legislative Insight.

Research Tip: Unsure of a law’s correct title, date of enactment, public law number, or other publication details? Check the Popular Names Tables on Westlaw and Lexis for these details that may help in locating legislative history materials. 

Here are links to the histories of a few well-known pieces of legislation.

Copyright Act of 1909

Copyright Act of 1976 (Full name: “Copyright Law Revision Act of 1976”)

Digital Millennium Copyright Act

You can use the search features in Legislative Insight to locate additional histories. If you can’t find the history you need, HeinOnline also has legislative histories as do Lexis and Westlaw (note that on the Westlaw page several useful resources are listed in the “Tools & Resources” sidebar of the linked to page). If you need a specific legislative document, ProQuest Congressional is the best place to go.