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.

Copyright: Statutes

The Legislative Process

Before the legislature enacts a law, the proposed legislation exists in the form of a bill. As bills are enacted into law, they are published chronologically in the session laws for that jurisdiction. Eventually, the acts are also published in a subject arrangement in the jurisdiction's statutory code.

If the code only includes the text of the law, it is an unannotated code. If it also includes editorial enhancements such as references to secondary materials, regulations, and cases that have interpreted the statute, it is an annotated code. 

At the federal level, the session laws are called the United States Statutes at Large. The official, annotated federal code is the United States Code. The unofficial, annotated codes are the United States Code Annotated and the United States Code Service.

Statutory Codes

U.S. copyright laws are codified in Title 17 of the United States Code. Sources include:

Session Laws

Federal U.S. session laws are called public laws and are published in the U.S. Statutes at Large. The public law is the text of act as it was originally passed by Congress (before it gets codified). Sources include:

New and Pending Legislation

Some sources of new and pending copyright legislation include: