On March 4, 1891, President Benjamin Harrison signed the International Copyright Act of 1891, the first U.S. copyright law authorizing the establishment of copyright relations with foreign countries.
Eighteen years later, on March 4, 1909, President Theodore Roosevelt signed the landmark Copyright Act of 1909, the third general revision of the law. The 1909 Act extended the maximum term of protection to fifty-six years, broadened the subject matter of copyright protection, and secured copyright in published works from the date of first publication with proper notice. Reposted from the History of Copyright Timeline at the U.S. Copyright Office.