U.S. Copyright Office Definitions
The Office provides a number of paper forms for use in applying for registration of a claim to copyright. Registration makes a public record of the basic facts of a particular copyright.
An international treaty, the "Convention for the Protection of Literary and
Artistic Works, signed at Berne, Switzerland, on September 9, 1886, and all
acts, protocols, and revisions thereto." The United States acceded to the Berne
Convention effective March 1, 1989.
Certificate of registration:
An official paper denoting that a particular copyright has been registered with the Copyright Office. Provided the claim is registered within five years of the date on which the work is first published, the facts on a certificate of registration and the validity of the copyright are accepted by courts of law as self-evident unless later shown to be false.
Informational brochures published by the Copyright Office for distribution to the public. Each circular deals with an aspect of the copyright law, e.g., duration of copyright, copyright registration of musical compositions, and copyright notice.
The material object, other than a phonorecord, in which the copyrighted work is first fixed, and from which the work can be perceived, reproduced, or otherwise communicated, either directly or with the aid of a machine or device.
A form of protection provided by the laws of the United States for "original works of authorship", including literary, dramatic, musical, architectural, cartographic, choreographic, pantomimic, pictorial, graphic, sculptural, and audiovisual creations. "Copyright" literally means the right to copy but has come to mean that body of exclusive rights granted by law to copyright owners for protection of their work. Copyright protection does not extend to any idea, procedure, process, system, title, principle, or discovery. Similarly, names, titles, short phrases, slogans, familiar symbols, mere variations of typographic ornamentation, lettering, coloring, and listings of contents or ingredients are not subject to copyright.
The copyright notice consists of three elements. They are the "c" in a circle (©), the year of first publication, and the name of the owner of copyright. A copyright notice is no longer legally required to secure copyright on works first published on or after March 1, 1989, but it does provide legal benefits.
Digital Audio Recording Technology. Refers to digital audio recording devices
and media covered by the Audio Home Recording Act of 1992 (P.L.102-563), the
first statutory license to grant royalties to copyright owners for home copying.
The copy, copies, or phonorecords of an original work of authorship that are placed in the Copyright Office to support the claim to copyright in the work or to meet the mandatory deposit requirement of the 1976 Copyright Act. Deposits become part of the public record and may be selected by the Library of Congress for its collections.
To send to the Copyright Office a copy, copies, or phonorecords of an original work of authorship to support a claim to copyright or to meet the mandatory deposit requirement of the 1976 Copyright Act.
Money kept in a special account set up in the Copyright Office by individuals or firms and from which copyright fees are deducted.
A paper relating to the ownership of a copyright or to any other matter involving a copyright. Documents may be recorded in the Copyright Office for the public record.
The electronic Copyright Office. eCO has two parts: eCO Service, a system
for inputting and processing copyright information, and eCO Search, the Copyright
Office records search system that provides access to Copyright Office records.
The online computer system that allows users to search Copyright Office registration and recordation records from 1978 to the present.
The online computer system that receives applications for copyright registration, records and tracks all service requests, and supports all Copyright Office business requirements.
Exclusive rights of the copyright owner (section 106 , title 17, U.S. Code):
1. To reproduce the work
2. To prepare derivative works
3. To distribute copies or phonorecords of the work to the public by sale, rental, lease, or lending
4. In the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and motion pictures and other audiovisual works, to perform the work publicly
5. In the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and pictorial, graphic, or sculptural works, including the individual images of a motion picture or other audiovisual work, to display the copyrighted work publicly
6. In the case of sound recordings, to perform the copyrighted work publicly by means of a digital audio transmission
A requirement of the 1976 Copyright Act that copies or phonorecords of every work published in the United States be sent to the Copyright Office within 3 month of publication whether or not copyright registration is sought. In general, two copies are required. Deposits are made available to the Library of Congress for its collections or for exchange or transfer to any other library. Works deposited under the mandatory deposit requirement may also be used for copyright registration.
Peer-to-peer (P2P) networking:
A type of network where computers communicate directly with each other rather than through a central server. Often referred to simply as peer-to-peer, or abbreviated P2P with this type of network each workstation has equivalent capabilities and responsibilities in contrast to client/server architectures in which some computers are dedicated to serving the other computers. A "network" is a group of two or more computer systems linked together by various methods. In recent usage, peer-to-peer has come to describe applications in which users can use the Internet to exchange files with each other directly or through a mediating server.
A material object in which sounds are fixed and from which the sounds can be perceived, reproduced, or otherwise communicated either directly or with the aid of a machine or device. A phonorecord may include a cassette tape, an LP vinyl disc, a compact disc, or other means of fixing sounds. A phonorecord does not include those sounds accompanying a motion picture or other audiovisual work.
To publish a work is to distribute copies or phonorecords of the work to the public by sale or other transfer of ownership, or by rental, lease, or lending. Publication also includes offering to distribute copies or phonorecords to a group of persons for purposes of further distribution, public performance, or public display. A public performance or display of a work does not of itself constitute publication.
The official filing in the Copyright Office of a document having to do with copyright, such as a transfer of ownership or a grant of a security interest. The purpose of recordation is to make a public record of the facts in the document. The document must bear the actual signature of the person who executed it, or it must be accompanied by a sworn or official certification that it is a true copy of the original signed document.
A sound recording is a work that results from the fixation of a series of musical, spoken, or other sounds, regardless of the nature of the material objects in which they are embodied. A sound recording does not include the sounds accompanying a motion picture or other audiovisual work. Copyright in a sound recording protects the particular series of sounds embodied in the sound recording. Copyright registration for a sound recording alone is not the same as registration for the musical, dramatic, or literary work recorded. The underlying work may be registered in its own right apart from any recording of the performance.
CARP Copyright Arbitration Royalty Panel
When the affected parties cannot come to a voluntary agreement, a CARP was convened to determine royalty rate adjustments and the distribution of royalty funds collected by the Licensing Division. CARPs were jointly administered by the Library of Congress and the Copyright Office. Each panel was composed of three arbitrators, two of whom were selected by the Librarian of Congress. The third was selected by the first two. CARPS have been succeeded by the Copyright Royalty Board.
CIS Copyright Imaging System
This system is used to capture and store an online computer image of each copyright registration form. It applies a barcode label indicating the registration number; prints the registration certificate through use of high speed printers working from the stored image; and stores the registration form for archival use.
CMS Correspondence Management System
CMS recorded written transactions with remitters and has largely replaced the earlier ETS system.
COHD Copyright Office History Documents
This program was an index to recorded documents from 1978 to the present that transfer copyright ownership or that pertain to a copyright. COHD was a subsystem of COPICS.
COHM Copyright Office History Monographs
This program was an index to original registrations and renewal registrations of monographs from 1978 to the present. Monographs include all subject matter that is not serials. COHM was a subsystem of COPICS.
COHS Copyright Office History Serials
This program was an index to original registrations and renewal registrations of serials from 1978 to the present. Serials include periodicals, newspapers, magazines, bulletins, newsletters, annuals, journals, proceedings of societies, and other similar works. COHS is a subsystem of COPICS.
COINS Copyright Office In-Process System
This computer system tracked copyright claims and other fee services through the Copyright Office and records whether proper fees have been received. When deposits were received for copyright registration, they were given a barcode number and were entered into the COINS tracking system.
COPICS Copyright Office Publication and Interactive Cataloging System
This system includes COHD, COHM, and COHS and was an automated card catalog to original and renewal copyright registrations in the United States and an automated index to recorded documents from 1978 to the present.
CORCATS Copyright Office Registration Cataloging System
This program created COPICS records and served as an interface between CORDS and COPICS.
DART Digital Audio Recording Technology
This acronym refers to digital audio recording devices and media covered by the Audio Home Recording Act of 1992 (P.L.102-563), the first statutory license to grant royalties to copyright owners for home copying.
ETS Exception Tracking System
This system was integrated with the RIP record and tracked cases in which correspondence with a remitter was required. ETS recorded pertinent information about the case.
RIP Receipt In Process
This record was created by COINS for each claim to copyright received in the Office. Automatic status updating was performed as the claim is processed.
UB Unfinished Business
Individual files were maintained on claims that were received but that could not be processed until some matter was resolved.