Article I, Section 8, clause 8 of the Constitution states: "[The Congress shall have power] 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..."
For a thorough discussion of this provision, see:
The Copyright Act of 1976, the primary basis of copyright law in the United States, is codified in Title 17 of the U.S. Code.
See the Gallagher guide on U.S. (Federal) Laws for print and online sources of the U.S. Code. A couple of free resources include:
The regulations pertaining to copyright are in Title 37, Parts 201-205 & 211-212. For more information on where to locate the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) and the Federal Register in print and online, see the Gallagher guide on U.S. Administrative Law Research.
Copyright law in the United States is primarily federal law. Thus, copyright cases are mostly decided in the U.S. District Court, the U.S. Courts of Appeals, and the U.S. Supreme Court. For call numbers, dates of coverage, and locations of court reporters, see the Gallagher guide on Court Reporters.
Copyright Cases Online
Topical reporters collect cases about a certain subject or area of law. Topical reporters related to copyright law include: