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Patents & Trademarks: Copyrights

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Copyright Basics

What is a Copyright?

A Copyright is a form of protection provided to the authors of “original works of authorship” including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works, both published and unpublished. The 1976 Copyright Act generally gives the owner of copyright the exclusive right to reproduce the copyrighted work, to prepare derivative works, to distribute copies or phonorecords of the copyrighted work, to perform the copyrighted work publicly, or to display the copyrighted work publicly.


Copyrights are administratered by the  Library of Congress. To register, go to:

Copyright Office.

The Copyright Office Catalog contains approximately 20 million records for works registered and documents recorded with the Copyright Office since 1978.

To search Copyright Information, go to Library of Congress's catalog:  

 Copyright Catalog


 Compendium of U.S. Copyright Office Practices