US Copyright Office

The US Copyright Office is a department of the Library of Congress. Its registration system and recordation system constitute the world’s largest database of copyrighted works and copyright ownership information. This includes literary works, visual arts works, performing arts works, sound recordings, motion pictures, single series issues, groups of serial issues and groups of newspaper/ newsletter issues. In fiscal year 2011 alone, the Office processed more than 700,000 copyright registration claims. Access the most recent policies, resources and regulations associated with United States copyright law at

Learn About the US Copyright Office

According to, the US Copyright Office and the position of Register of Copyrights, were created by Congress in 1897 as a separate department of the Library of Congress. Twenty-two years earlier, Congress removed copyright registration from the district courts and centralized it in the Library of Congress. Today, the Copyright Office has approximately 450 employees, the majority of whom examine and register hundreds of thousands of copyright claims in books, music, movies, software, photographs, and other works of authorship each year.

The US Copyright Office’s critical law and policy functions include domestic and international policy analysis; legislative support for Congress; litigation activities; support for the courts and executive branch agencies (including significant efforts on trade and antipiracy initiatives); participation on U.S. delegations in meetings with foreign governments or private parties; attendance and participation at intergovernmental meetings and other international events; hosting copyright training for copyright officials from developing countries; and providing public information and education. The Copyright Office works regularly with the Department of Justice, the Department of State, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, and the Department of Commerce, including the Patent and Trademark Office.

Useful Copyright Resources Available From the US Copyright Office

The US Copyright Office offers extensive information and useful resources about copyrights on its website:

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