The Register of Copyrights is the Director of the U.S. Copyright Office and a leader on copyright issues within the U.S. government. By statute, the Register works under the general direction of the Librarian of Congress and carries out a variety of legal and policy functions specified in Title 17 of the United States Code. The Copyright Office has six divisions in addition to the Register’s Office and approximately 450 staff members. Four Associate Registers of Copyrights and two Assistant Registers of Copyrights report directly to the Register and help execute her statutory mandates.
The Register of Copyrights has overall responsibility for the Copyright Office and its statutory mandates. Specifically, under the Register’s direction, the Copyright Office provides legal interpretations of copyright law, administers the provisions of Title 17, issues and implements copyright regulations, and advises Congress and other government officials on domestic and international copyright policy and other intellectual property issues. The staff of the Office of the Register includes a special advisor and a confidential assistant who support the Register in conducting activities across the Office and the Library.
The Office of the General Counsel (OGC) assists the Register in carrying out the work of the Copyright Office regarding the interpretation and application of copyright law. OGC works with the Department of Justice, other federal departments, and the legal community on a wide range of copyright matters, including litigation and the administration of Title 17. OGC also has primary responsibility for the formulation and implementation of regulations and the adoption of legal positions governing the practices of the Copyright Office. The General Counsel and Associate Register of Copyrights, who is an expert copyright attorney and one of four legal advisors to the Register, leads the division.
The Office of Policy and International Affairs (PIA) assists the Register with the policy functions of the Copyright Office, including domestic and international policy analyses, legislative support, and trade and treaty discussions. As part of its work, PIA provides technical advice to Congress and its committees and represents the Copyright Office at meetings of government officials concerned with the international aspects of intellectual property protection. The Associate Register of Copyrights and Director of Policy and International Affairs, who is an expert copyright attorney and one of four legal advisors to the Register, leads the division.
The Office of Registration Policy and Practice (RPP) is responsible for administering the copyright registration system and advising the Register on questions of registration policy and related regulations and interpretations of copyright law. RPP has three main divisions (Literary, Performing Arts, and Visual Arts) and several specialized sections (such as motion pictures). The Associate Register of Copyrights and Director of Registration Policy and Practice, who is an expert copyright attorney and one of four legal advisors to the Register, leads the division.
The Office of Public Information and Education (PIE) is responsible for providing authoritative information to the public about copyright law, answering public inquiries, and offering outreach and education programs. PIE publishes an annotated version of Title 17, maintains a website providing information about Copyright Office activities, produces explanatory and educational materials and programs, and responds to public questions about Office policies and procedures. The Associate Register of Copyrights and Director of Public Information and Education, who is an expert copyright attorney and one of four legal advisors to the Register, leads the division.
The Office of the Assistant Register and Director of Operations (ARDO) is responsible for financial management, business and administrative operations, and strategic planning for the Copyright Office. This includes financial operations, budget and procurement processes, and statutory royalty investments and disbursements. ARDO oversees five sections comprising finance and budget, human capital, materials control and analysis, acquisitions and deposits, and product management. Working with the other divisions, ARDO manages Office projects, including the modernization of Copyright Office systems and processes. The Assistant Register and Director of Operations, who is an expert in financial management and other business operations, leads the division.
The Office of Copyright Records is responsible for establishing records policies and preserving, maintaining, and servicing copyright-related records. This division records transfers of copyright ownership and notices of termination, makes copyright documents and related information available to the public, researches and provides certified and non-certified copies of copyright deposits, ensures their storage and security, and safeguards the official records of the Copyright Office. The Assistant Register and Director of the Office of Copyright Records, who is an expert in public administration, leads the division.