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Creating to Inspire Social Change: A Brief Look into Gwendolyn Brooks

The following is a guest post by Chandel Boozer, spring 2021 law clerk in the Office of Policy and International Affairs. In the United States, authors can share their unique perspectives based on their varying life experiences, ethnicities, and beliefs. Amongst those authors, poets have the ability to succinctly capture an emotion or experience with […]

Ode to Cicadas

They’re flying, buzzing, and crawling everywhere! Washington, DC, neighborhoods around the U.S. Copyright Office are teeming with Brood X cicadas, taking their next steps on a seventeen-year journey. Along the way, they’re also inspiring musicians, photographers, artists, and authors to create copyrighted works. These cicadas belong to a genus called magicicada, whose very name evokes […]

The Register: The Historical and Unique Title for American Copyright Leadership

The following is a guest blog post by Marilyn Creswell, Librarian-in-Residence at the U.S. Copyright Office. In most conversations, a register is usually a list, and a registrar is usually a person who keeps lists. The U.S. Copyright Office is a rare example of a Register being the person who keeps a register.1 The origin […]

Zitkála-Šá: On Creativity, Copyright, and Cultural Empowerment

Zitkála-Šá was a prolific writer, political activist, and musician, credited as the first Native American to write an opera, The Sun Dance Opera. However, despite her contributions, Zitkála-Šá does not appear on the copyright records for the work.

Houdini and the Magic of Copyright

The following is a guest blog post by Marilyn Creswell, Librarian-in-Residence at the U.S. Copyright Office. Magicians do not always reveal their tricks, even when they register their copyright claims. The legendary Hungarian immigrant Harry Houdini registered three of his famous illusions as “playlets,” or short plays, with the U.S. Copyright Office between 1911 and […]

The Copyright Office: Marking One Year of Pandemic Operations

The following is a guest blog post by Shira Perlmutter, Register of Copyrights and Director, U.S. Copyright Office. On Friday, March 13, 2020, the Library of Congress closed its buildings to the public and initiated pandemic operations. At the end of October, I was sworn in virtually by the Librarian of Congress, Dr. Carla Hayden. […]

Revisiting the Copyright Office’s Focus on Women in Copyright

  The following is a guest post by Librarian-in-Residence Marilyn Creswell. Over the years, the U.S. Copyright Office has explored the many ways women have influenced creativity, copyright, and the Office itself. Women authors and the women within our own institution are key participants in the country’s copyright system. As part of our celebration of […]