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What does the United States Copyright Office do?

Posted by Steve Vondran | Jun 30, 2018 | 0 Comments

Copyright Law Essentials – The Role of the Copyright Office


The United States Copyright Office (“USCO”) is the government agency responsible for overseeing and  regulating copyright law.  They do not hear copyright infringement cases but some of their main functions and duties include:

  • Registrar of Copyright (where you go to register books, films, movies, videos, art, etc).
  • Advise Congress on changes and modifications to existing U.S. copyright law;
  • Provide expert advice  to Congress regarding  intellectual property matters;
  • Administers mandatory deposition provisions of copyright law
  • Analyze legislation and assist in drafting copyright legislation;
  • Serve as a resource on copyright law issues
  • Administer the Copyright Arbitration Royalty Panel (royalty rates for compulsory licenses for tv, radio and music industries)
  • Advise Congress on Berne Convention treaty compliance

What is the Berne Convention?

According to Wikipedia:

“The Berne Convention requires its parties to treat the copyright of works of authors from other parties to the convention (known as members of the Berne Union) at least as well as those of its own nationals. For example, French copyright law applies to anything published or performed in France, regardless of where it was originally created. In addition to establishing a system of equal treatment that harmonised copyright amongst parties, the agreement also required member states to provide strong minimum standards for copyright law. Copyright under the Berne Convention must be automatic; it is prohibited to require formal registration. However, when the United States joined the Convention 1 March 1989,[1] it continued to make statutory damages and attorney's fees only available for registered works.

However, in Moberg v Leygues, a 2009 decision of a Delaware Federal District Court, decided that the protections of the Berne Convention are supposed to essentially be “frictionless,” meaning no registration requirements can be imposed on a work from a different Berne member country. This means Berne member countries can require works originating in their own country to be registered and/or deposited, but cannot require these formalities of works from other Berne member countries”

What is the Copyright Royalty Board?

According to CRB:

eCRB is the online filing and case management system for the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB). Attorneys representing participants in CRB proceedings and participants representing themselves can register for access to eCRB to file and distribute documents related to CRB proceedings, receive electronic delivery of documents from the CRB, and/or review prior case documents. Claimants to royalty funds for cable, satellite, and DART statutory licenses can register to file claims through eCRB, and members of the public can register to file comments in response to any CRB requests for comments published in the Federal Register. Anyone is able to view unrestricted documents through the public Case Search feature without registering.

Contact a Copyright Infringement Attorney

We can help with a variety of legal issues involving infringement, responding or issuing cease and desist letters, subpoena response, federal arbitration, mediation and litigation.  Call us at (877) 276-5084.

About the Author

Steve Vondran

Thank you for viewing our blogs, videos and podcasts. As noted, all information on this website is Attorney Advertising. Decisions to hire an attorney should never be based on advertising alone. Any past results discussed herein do not guarantee or predict any future results. All blogs are written by Steve Vondran, Esq. unless otherwise indicated. Our firm handles a wide variety of intellectual property and entertainment law cases from music and video law, Youtube disputes, DMCA litigation, copyright infringement cases involving software licensing disputes (ex. BSA, SIIA, Siemens, Autodesk, Vero, CNC, VB Conversion and others), torrent internet file-sharing (Strike 3 and Malibu Media), California right of publicity, TV Signal Piracy, and many other types of IP, piracy, technology, and social media disputes. Call us at (877) 276-5084. AZ Bar Lic. #025911 CA. Bar Lic. #232337


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