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.

LAW 9106 - Music and Copyright Seminar: Primary Sources

This guide is intended to serve as a resource for students in Professor Fishman's Music and Copyright Seminar.

Westlaw, Lexis Advance, and Bloomberg are all excellent sources for identifying and locating the relevant primary law.

Locating Primary Sources of Law

On Westlaw, you can browse materials organized by area of law by using the "Practice Areas" tab.

Westlaw User Guides and Legal Resources: This page contains research guides and resources for students. Toward the bottom of the main page, researchers can locate the Help page for Westlaw. Clicking on that link will suspend charges for the ongoing research session and lead users to a comprehensive help document. You can access this document if you are seeking assistance on how to use research folders, set up custom pages, or use any of the other tools available that help organize your research.

Access Note: Access restricted to members of the Vanderbilt Law School community.

On Lexis Advance, limit your search by using the dropdown menus under the main search box. For example, depending on the juvenile justice issue you are researching, you could limit to criminal or family law (or both).

Lexis Advance Help Page: For researchers who are new to Lexis or need some guidance using the system, the Help page is a great resource and is easy to navigate, providing links that lead directly to information about research questions.

Access Note: Access is restricted to members of the Vanderbilt Law School Community.

Bloomberg Law contains legal content and propriety news from BNA (news covering legal, legislative, regulatory, and economic developments). Dockets are also available from PACER.

Bloomberg Law Help: Bloomberg Law has several tools built into it that can assist researchers in staying organized. The help page contains links to tutorials and guides on the various tools if you need extra help.

Access Note: Available for Vanderbilt Law School faculty and students only.

Major Music Law

Major statutes dealing with music law include the following:

  • Title 17 of the United States Code contains the text of current federal copyright law. The following is a selected list of important copyright statutes:
    • Copyright Act of 1909, Pub. L. No. 60-349, 35 Stat. 1075 (1909)
    • Sound Recording Act of 1971, Pub. L. No. 92-140, 85 Stat. 391 (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)
  • Title 15 of the U.S. Code contains the text of three major antitrust statutes:
    • Sherman Antitrust Act, ch. 647, 26 Stat. 209 (1890)
    • Clayton Act, ch. 323, Pub. L. No. 63-212, 38 Stat. 730 (1914)
    • Federal Trade Commission Act, ch. 311, 38 Stat. 717 (1914)
  • Other statutes:
    • Trademark Act of 1946 ("Lanham Act"), ch. 540, Pub. L. No.79-489, 60 Stat. 427 (1946)
    • California Civil Code Section 3344 (Right of publicity)
    • California Penal Code Section 653w (Failure to disclose origin of recording or audiovisual work)
    • New York Civil Rights Law Sec. 50 &51 (Right of privacy and action for damages)

Select federal regulations relevant to the music industry include:

  • 37 C.F.R. secs. 200-299
    Regulations promulgated by the Copyright Office, Library of Congress.
  • 37 C.F.R. secs. 300-399
    Regulations promulgated by the Copyright Royalty Board, Library of Congress.
  • 47 C.F.R. secs. 70-79
    Regulations promulgated by the Federal Communications Commission dealing with broadcast radio services.