Copyright Service

Published on AidPage by IDILOGIC on Jun 24, 2005

Administered by:

US Federal Government Agency (see all agencies)
Library of Congress
CFDA #: 42.002

Purpose of this program:

To administer the U.S. copyright law, to examine and decide the acceptability of all applications, deposit copies, and other materials presented for registration of original and renewal copyright claims; to process deposits submitted in compliance with the mandatory deposit provision of the copyright law; to record and publish facts of copyright and certain bibliographic data pertaining to each registered work; to furnish information to the public about the procedures for making registration and the practices of the Office; to record transfers of copyright ownership or other documents pertaining to a copyright; to provide reports on copyright facts found in the records of the Copyright Office; to provide certified copies of office records; and to promulgate copyright regulations. To examine cable system and satellite carrier statements of account and collect compulsory license royalties for distribution to copyright owners; to examine quarterly and annual statements of account and receive royalties on behalf of copyright owners pursuant to the statutory obligation provided for the distribution of digital audio recording equipment and media; to examine and record documents relating to compulsory and statutory licenses and obligations and to administer, assist, and review the actions and decisions of the Copyright Arbitration Royalty Panels.

Possible uses and use restrictions...

Anyone may request information about the copyright law, the Copyright Office regulations, the method of securing copyright, and procedures for registering claims and recording documents. This information is free of charge. Reports on copyright facts found in the records of the Copyright Office may be obtained for a statutory search fee of $75 an hour or fraction thereof; however, any member of the public may use, without charge, the Copyright Card Catalog and the online catalog of registrations made since 1978 in the Copyright Office. Fees provided by law for registration of claims to copyright are $30 for most categories with the exception of group registration of serials and daily newspapers, which have separate fee schedules. There are also separate schedules of statutory fees for recordation of transfers of copyright ownership, certified copies of records, etc. The latest fee information can be obtained by contacting the Copyright Office or checking the Copyright Office Website at

Who is eligible to apply...

Information is supplied to anyone on request. Registration may be made by creators of the work, their assignees, or their exclusive licensees, and others designated by law, or by their agents.

Eligible Applicant Categories:
Eligible Functional Categories:


Note:This is a brief description of the credentials or documentation required prior to, or along with, an application for assistance.

About this section:

This section indicates who can apply to the Federal government for assistance and the criteria the potential applicant must satisfy. For example, individuals may be eligible for research grants, and the criteria to be satisfied may be that they have a professional or scientific degree, 3 years of research experience, and be a citizen of the United States. Universities, medical schools, hospitals, or State and local governments may also be eligible. Where State governments are eligible, the type of State agency will be indicated (State welfare agency or State agency on aging) and the criteria that they must satisfy.

Certain federal programs (e.g., the Pell Grant program which provides grants to students) involve intermediate levels of application processing, i.e., applications are transmitted through colleges or universities that are neither the direct applicant nor the ultimate beneficiary. For these programs, the criteria that the intermediaries must satisfy are also indicated, along with intermediaries who are not eligible.

How to apply...

Application Procedure:

Walk-in service or written requests for information. Applications for registration are on forms provided by the Copyright Office. Application forms are also available on the Copyright Office Forms Hotline at (202) 707-9100 24 hours a day, and at the Copyright Office Website at

Note: Each program will indicate whether applications are to be submitted to the Federal headquarters, regional or local office, or to a State or local government office.

Award Procedure:

Not applicable.

Note: Grant payments may be made by a letter of credit, advance by Treasury check, or reimbursement by Treasury check. Awards may be made by the headquarters office directly to the applicant, an agency field office, a regional office, or by an authorized county office. The assistance may pass through the initial applicant for further distribution by intermediate level applicants to groups or individuals in the private sector.

Deadlines and process...


The owner of a copyright or the right of first publication in a work published in the United States has a legal obligation to deposit in the Copyright Office two complete copies or phonorecords for the use of the Library of Congress; copyright registration under the 1976 Copyright Act is generally voluntary, although copyright owners are required to register their claim in order to obtain certain legal remedies; registration can be made at any time during the copyright term; however, prompt registration is advisable to preserve the ability to obtain statutory damages and attorney's fees for copyright infringement. Cable systems, satellite carriers, importers, and manufacturers of digital audio recording products have deadlines for filing statements of account and royalty fees.

Note: When available, this section indicates the deadlines for applications to the funding agency which will be stated in terms of the date(s) or between what dates the application should be received. When not available, applicants should contact the funding agency for deadline information.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Not applicable.

Preapplication Coordination

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O. 12372.

Note: This section indicates whether any prior coordination or approval is required with governmental or nongovernmental units prior to the submission of a formal application to the federal funding agency.


Denials of registration may be appealed to the Examining Division by letter. A second appeal, also by letter, may be made to a Board of Appeals.

Note: In some cases, there are no provisions for appeal. Where applicable, this section discusses appeal procedures or allowable rework time for resubmission of applications to be processed by the funding agency. Appeal procedures vary with individual programs and are either listed in this section or applicants are referred to appeal procedures documented in the relevant Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).


The copyright law was amended to extend automatically the term of copyrights secured between January 1, 1964, and December 31, 1977, to a further term of 47 years and made renewal optional. The term of copyright in works published or copyrighted between January 1, 1964, and December 31, 1977, is 95 years. There is no need to make the renewal filing in order to extend the original 28-year copyright term to the full 95 years. However, some benefits accrue to making a renewal registration during the 28th year of the original term. The filing fee for renewals is $60. This fee applies to all renewal applications filed on or after July 1, 2002. For more information, contact the Renewals Section at (202) 707-8180.

Note: In some instances, renewal procedures may be the same as for the application procedure, e.g., for projects of a non-continuing nature renewals will be treated as new, competing applications; for projects of an ongoing nature, renewals may be given annually.

Who can benefit...

Information supplied to anyone, on request. Registration may be made by authors, their assignees, or their exclusive licensees, and others designated by law, or by their agents.

About this section:

This section lists the ultimate beneficiaries of a program, the criteria they must satisfy and who specifically is not eligible. The applicant and beneficiary will generally be the same for programs that provide assistance directly from a Federal agency. However, financial assistance that passes through State or local governments will have different applicants and beneficiaries since the assistance is transmitted to private sector beneficiaries who are not obligated to request or apply for the assistance.

What types of assistance...

Dissemination of Technical Information

Programs which provide for the publication and distribution of information or data of a specialized or technical nature frequently through clearinghouses or libraries. This does not include conventional public information services designed for general public consumption.

How much financial aid...

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

Not applicable.

Note: This section lists the representative range (smallest to largest) of the amount of financial assistance available. These figures are based upon funds awarded in the past fiscal year and the current fiscal year to date. Also indicated is an approximate average amount of awards which were made in the past and current fiscal years.


(93 percent salaries and expenses; 7 percent materials) FY 03 actuals $43,572,000; FY 04 est $48,005,000; and FY 05 est $53,518,000.

Note: The dollar amounts listed in this section represent obligations for the past fiscal year (PY), estimates for the current fiscal year (CY), and estimates for the budget fiscal year (BY) as reported by the Federal agencies. Obligations for non-financial assistance programs indicate the administrative expenses involved in the operation of a program.

Account Identification


Note: Note: This 11-digit budget account identification code represents the account which funds a particular program. This code should be consistent with the code given for the program area as specified in Appendix III of the Budget of the United States Government.

Examples of funded projects...

Not applicable.

About this section

This section indicates the different types of projects which have been funded in the past. Only projects funded under Project Grants or Direct Payments for Specified Use should be listed here. The examples give potential applicants an idea of the types of projects that may be accepted for funding. The agency should list at least five examples of the most recently funded projects.

Program accomplishments...

In FY 2003, a total of 534,122 registrations were made. The estimated registrations for FY 2004 are 550,000, and for FY 2005 are 550,000. In FY 2003, the Office recorded 16,103 documents relating to copyright. The Office estimates 13,000 documents recordations in FY 2004 and in FY 2005. In FY 2003, the Office transferred $33,750,000 worth of materials to the Library's collections. The Office estimates transferring materials valued at $32,344,000 in FY 2004 and $33,153,000 in FY 2005. In FY 2003, use of the Office's Website increased by 23 percent over the prior year.

Criteria for selecting proposals...

Not applicable.

Assistance considerations...

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Not applicable.

Formula and Matching Requirements

Not applicable.

A formula may be based on population, per capita income, and other statistical factors. Applicants are informed whether there are any matching requirements to be met when participating in the cost of a project. In general, the matching share represents that portion of the project costs not borne by the Federal government. Attachment F of OMB Circular No. A-102 (Office of Management and Budget) sets forth the criteria and procedures for the evaluation of matching share requirements which may be cash or in-kind contributions made by State and local governments or other agencies, institutions, private organizations, or individuals to satisfy matching requirements of Federal grants or loans.

Cash contributions represent the grantees' cash outlay, including the outlay of money contributed to the grantee by other public agencies, institutions, private organizations, or individuals. When authorized by Federal regulation, Federal funds received from other grants may be considered as the grantees' cash contribution.

In-kind contributions represent the value of noncash contributions provided by the grantee, other public agencies and institutions, private organizations or individuals. In-kind contributions may consist of charges for real property and equipment, and value of goods and services directly benefiting and specifically identifiable to the grant program. When authorized by Federal legislation, property purchased with Federal funds may be considered as grantees' in-kind contribution.

Maintenance of effort (MOE) is a requirement contained in certain legislation, regulations, or administrative policies stating that a grantee must maintain a specified level of financial effort in a specific area in order to receive Federal grant funds, and that the Federal grant funds may be used only to supplement, not supplant, the level of grantee funds.

Post assistance requirements...



Note: This section indicates whether program reports, expenditure reports, cash reports or performance monitoring are required by the Federal funding agency, and specifies at what time intervals (monthly, annually, etc.) this must be accomplished.



Note: This section discusses audits required by the Federal agency. The procedures and requirements for State and local governments and nonprofit entities are set forth in OMB Circular No. A-133. These requirements pertain to awards made within the respective State's fiscal year - not the Federal fiscal year, as some State and local governments may use the calendar year or other variation of time span designated as the fiscal year period, rather than that commonly known as the Federal fiscal year (from October 1st through September 30th).



Note: This section indicates the record retention requirements and the type of records the Federal agency may require. Not included are the normally imposed requirements of the General Accounting Office. For programs falling under the purview of OMB Circular No. A-102, record retention is set forth in Attachment C. For other programs, record retention is governed by the funding agency's requirements.



Public Law 102-307, 17 U.S.C. 101-710, as amended.

Note: This section lists the legal authority upon which a program is based (acts, amendments to acts, Public Law numbers, titles, sections, Statute Codes, citations to the U.S. Code, Executive Orders, Presidential Reorganization Plans, and Memoranda from an agency head).

Regulations, Guidelines, And Literature

Applications, copies of regulations, and printed informational circulars are available from the Copyright Office at the mailing address given below.

Contact information...

Web Sites
Regional Or Local Office

Not applicable.

Note: This section lists the agency contact person, address and telephone number of the Federal Regional or Local Office(s) to be contacted for detailed information regarding a program such as: (1) current availability of funds and the likelihood of receiving assistance within a given period; (2) pre-application and application forms required; (3) whether a pre-application conference is recommended; (4) assistance available in preparation of applications; (5) whether funding decisions are made at the headquarters, regional or local level; (6) application renewal procedures (including continuations and supplementals) or appeal procedures for rejected applications; and (7) recently published program guidelines and material. However, for most federal programs, this section will instruct the reader to consult the so-called Appendix IV of the Catalog due to the large volume of Regional and Local Office Contacts for most agencies. This information is provided in Additional Contact Information (see below).

Headquarters Office

Register of Copyrights, Copyright Office, James Madison Memorial Building, Library of Congress, Washington, DC. Telephone: (202) 707-3000. Mailing address: Library of Congress, Copyright Office, 101 Independence Ave., SE., Washington, DC 20559- 6000.

Note: This section lists names and addresses of the office at the headquarters level with direct operational responsibility for managing a program. A telephone number is provided in cases where a Regional or Local Office is not normally able to answer detailed inquiries concerning a program. Also listed are the name(s) and telephone number(s) of the information contact person(s) who can provide additional program information to applicants.

Additional Contact Information (Appendix IV)

Due to the large volume of regional and local office contacts for most agencies, full contact information is also provided separately here in a PDF format: