Copyright Act § 301: Preemption

17 U.S.C. § 301
§ 301
Preemption With Respect To Other Laws
  1. On and after January 1, 1978, all legal or equitable rights that are equivalent to any of the exclusive rights within the general scope of copyright as specified by section 106 in works of authorship that are fixed in a tangible medium of expression and come within the subject matter of copyright as specified by sections 102 and 103, whether created before or after that date and whether published or unpublished, are governed exclusively by this title. Thereafter, no person is entitled to any such right or equivalent right in any such work under the common law or statutes of any State.
  2. Nothing in this title annuls or limits any rights or remedies under the common law or statutes of any State with respect to —
    1. subject matter that does not come within the subject matter of copyright as specified by sections 102 and 103, including works of authorship not fixed in any tangible medium of expression; or
    2. any cause of action arising from undertakings commenced before January 1, 1978;
    3. activities violating legal or equitable rights that are not equivalent to any of the exclusive rights within the general scope of copyright as specified by section 106; or
    4. State and local landmarks, historic preservation, zoning, or building codes, relating to architectural works protected under section 102(a)(8).
  3. With respect to sound recordings fixed before February 15, 1972, any rights or remedies under the common law or statutes of any State shall not be annulled or limited by this title until February 15, 2067. The preemptive provisions of subsection (a) shall apply to any such rights and remedies pertaining to any cause of action arising from undertakings commenced on and after February 15, 2067. Notwithstanding the provisions of section 303, no sound recording fixed before February 15, 1972, shall be subject to copyright under this title before, on, or after February 15, 2067.
  4. Nothing in this title annuls or limits any rights or remedies under any other Federal statute.
  5. The scope of Federal preemption under this section is not affected by the adherence of the United States to the Berne Convention or the satisfaction of obligations of the United States thereunder.
    1. On or after the effective date set forth in section 610(a) of the Visual Artists Rights Act of 1990, all legal or equitable rights that are equivalent to any of the rights conferred by section 106A with respect to works of visual art to which the rights conferred by section 106A apply are governed exclusively by section 106A and section 113(d) and the provisions of this title relating to such sections. Thereafter, no person is entitled to any such right or equivalent right in any work of visual art under the common law or statutes of any State.
    2. Nothing in paragraph (1) annuls or limits any rights or remedies under the common law or statutes of any State with respect to —
      1. any cause of action from undertakings commenced before the effective date set forth in section 610(a) of the Visual Artists Rights Act of 1990;
      2. activities violating legal or equitable rights that are not equivalent to any of the rights conferred by section 106A with respect to works of visual art; or
      3. activities violating legal or equitable rights which extend beyond the life of the author.