Search Records

Copyright Search Records
Pre-1978 Records

Registrations and renewals from 1891 to 1977 are accessible through a virtual set of volumes titled the “Catalog of Copyright Entries” (CCEs), the back-up to the Office’s physical card catalog.

Post-1978 Records

Copyright registrations for all works dating from January 1, 1978, to the present, as well as renewals and recorded documents, are accessible through the online Copyright Office catalog.

Digitization Project

Copyright Office digitization efforts began in 2010 and continue to date. The end goal of this long-term project is to provide web-access to all pre-1978 U.S. Copyright Office records.

Notices of Restored Copyrights

In 1996, copyright was automatically restored in certain foreign works that were then in the public domain in the United States but were protected by copyright or neighboring rights in the source country.

Read More
Online Service Providers

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act, signed into law on October 28, 1998, amended the United States Copyright Act, Title 17 of the U.S. Code, to provide in part certain limitations on the liability of online service providers (OSPs) for copyright infringement.

Read More
Request a Search Estimate

The U.S. Copyright Office offers a search service for persons interested in investigating whether a work is under copyright protection and, if so, the facts of the copyright. For a fee of $200 per hour or fraction thereof (2 hour minimum), the office will search its public records and provide a report of its findings. Based on the information you furnish below, we will provide an estimate of the total search fee before conducting the search.

Read More
Vessel Registration

The Vessel Hull Design Protection Act, title 17, Chapter 13 of the United States Code, was signed into law on October 28, 1998, providing for protection for original designs of vessel hulls. The law grants an owner of an original vessel hull design certain exclusive rights if application for registration of the design is made with the Copyright Office within two years of the design being made public.

Read More

Frequently Asked Questions

How is a copyright different from a patent or a trademark?

Copyright protects original works of authorship, while a patent protects inventions or discoveries. Ideas and discoveries are not protected by the copyright law, although the way in which they are expressed may be. A trademark protects words, phrases, symbols, or designs identifying the source of the goods or services of one party and distinguishing them from those of others.