Tag Archives: U.S. copyright

U.S. Copyright Office Website + Compendium

There are a couple of initiatives by the U.S. Copyright Office that may be of great assistance to Canadians (Americans and others too) who need to locate copyright owners, register copyright- protected works under the U.S. Copyright Office registration system, and understand how the U.S. Copyright Office consistently approaches and interprets the U.S. Copyright Act and the Office’s mandate.

New U.S. Copyright Office Website

The U.S. Copyright Office website has an entire new look. It is much cleaner and easier to navigate. On the home page, you are initially given four choices: register a copyright; record a document; search records; and learn about statutory licensing. As Canadians you are likely entering the U.S. Copyright Office website to register your work or to search the records to locate a copyright holder. Registering a work with the U.S. Copyright Office is described in detail on pages 52-55 of Canadian Copyright Law. This updated site has a tutorial on completing an electronic copyright registration. Another common use of the U.S. Copyright Office site is to search the records to locate a copyright holder and perhaps obtain permission to use a work. A tutorial that details each step of searching the records is also accessible from the home page of the website. There is tons of other useful information so worth taking a look and browsing through the new website.

Compendium of U.S. Copyright Office Practices, Third Edition

On 19 August 2014, Register of Copyrights Maria A. Pallante released a draft of the Compendium of U.S. Copyright Office Practices, Third Edition – a 1,200 page document that in many parts reads as a treatise on U.S. copyright law. The Compendium sets out administrative practices relating to registration and recordation policy. It remains in draft form for 120 days pending final review and implementation. Prior editions of the Compendium were for the most part internally directed and this third edition is a comprehensive overhaul that makes the practices and standards of the Office more accessible and transparent to the public. It addresses basic copyright principles such as standards of copyrightability, joint authorship, work for hire, and routine questions like fees, records retrieval and other procedural issues. The compendium will be of help to Canadians seeking in-depth information on what applications for copyright registration will be accepted by the U.S. Copyright Office, who may file a copyright registration application, examination practises, and copyright office services.

Both the updated U.S. Copyright Office website and the Compendium are helpful resources to add to Chapter 15, An Overview of American Copyright Law, in Canadian Copyright Law.

Learn more about Canadian copyright law.

 

How do Copyright Registration Fees Compare in Canada and the U.S.?

Increased copyright registration fees in the U.S.Automatic Protection in Canada and the U.S.

Copyright protection in Canada and the U.S. is automatic upon creation of a work in a fixed form. For example, once a poem is on paper, it is protected by copyright. Or once an article is saved on your computer, it is protected by copyright. Registration of the work is not mandatory in either country but there are advantages to registering a work and many Canadian authors and copyright owners register their works with the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) and/or the U.S. Copyright Office. (Chapter 4, Canadian Copyright Law, Are Formalities Required to Obtain Copyright Protection?) discusses automatic protection and registration.)

Fees for Copyright Registration

Canadian registration fees: Filing an application for copyright registration for a work or other subject-matter in Canada via the CIPO website is $50 CDN. Filing an application by fax or mail is $65 CDN.

U.S. registration fees: U.S. copyright registration fees are changing on 1 May 2014. The current fee of $35 US for filing a copyright registration online will remain for single authors (not joint authors), single works (not collections) and for works that are not a work made for hire. All other works will cost $55 US to file online. Filing a paper form is currently $65 and this will increase to $85.

On 1 May 2014, you should pencil in the new fees in your copy of Canadian Copyright Law – page 53 is where you’ll see the fees. Click for a full list of the new copyright office fees.

The following table compares copyright registration in Canada and the U.S. as of 1 May 2014.

Online registration

Paper registration

CIPO

$50 CDN

$65 CDN

U.S. Copyright Office

$35 or $55 US

$85 US