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Copyright Office Presents at National Book Festival

We’re geared up this weekend to welcome everyone to learn all about copyright. On Sept. 26 and 27, join the U.S. Copyright Office at the National Book Festival and learn about how copyright empowers todayʼs authors and protects diverse perspectives. We’ll be all-virtual this year, and that means people around the country, and even around the world, can participate. Our booth features videos, handouts, postcards, live-chat, and more.

Copyright Office booth at National Book Festival

Copyright Office booth at the National Book Festival

Watch our videos defining copyright, public domain, fair use, and registration. Other videos feature expert panelists discussing topics such as social justice and the history of the U.S. Copyright Office. See how you can search the public record of copyrights online. Pick up brochures or read brief summaries about copyright and the visual arts. We even have postcards and information for kids. Enjoy our content and join our live chat sessions with staff of the U.S. Copyright Office.

Copyright is grounded in the U.S. Constitution, and copyrightʼs ultimate role is to encourage creativity and our flourishing national culture. When you write a story, create a work of art, compose or record music, or take a picture, you engage your creativity with copyright.

The U.S. Copyright Office administers the principal parts of copyright law in the United States. Find out more about what we do and how you can connect with us.

Content for adults will be posted Saturday, Sept. 26 at 9 a.m. ET, while some programming for kids in other festival booths is available on Sept. 25. You can register here to access the festivalʼs virtual platform and create your personalized schedule. Itʼs a quick, free process. We look forward to seeing you!

Promoting Progress: Celebrating the Constitution’s Intellectual Property Clause

Today is Constitution Day, which is a day of great celebration in copyright. In addition to all of the other treasures in the Constitution, of which there are many, our country’s founding document includes the foundation for U.S. copyright law. In article 1, section 8, clause 8, the Constitution states that Congress has the power to enact laws to “promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries.” And Congress obliged, passing the first federal copyright law in 1790, updating it throughout the years to address the changing times.

Historic Court Cases That Helped Shape Scope of Copyright Protections

As the Copyright Office celebrates its 150th birthday, we can look back more than 240 years through the history of copyright protections in the United States to see how the law has changed in response to changing technologies and economics. The authors of the U.S. Constitution believed that copyright was important enough to explicitly grant […]