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Copyright: U.S. Copyright Law

This guide will provide resources on the topic of copyright.


The information in this guide does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice. Instead, all information, content, and materials are for general informational purposes only. Information in this guide may not constitute the most up-to-date legal or other information. Further, this website contains links to other third-party websites, and such links are only for the convenience of the reader; KCTCS does not recommend or endorse the contents of the third-party sites. Readers of this guide should contact their attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular legal matter.

Copyright law in the United States

U.S. Copyright Office Seal  


The U.S Copyright Office was established in 1870 under the purview of the Library of Congress.  U.S. Copyright law is complex and multifaceted. This office serves as administrator to these set of laws including but not limited to copyright registration, recording licenses, and acting as an advisor to Congress in relation to issues related to copyright both nationally and internationally. 

It is important to be aware of the areas of copyright law that pertain to sources used for educational and professional use in the academic realm.  This not only protects the integrity of intellectual property being used by educators but also that of the content created by the educators themselves-such as scholarly papers, presentations, curriculum, and more.

To find out more about the U.S. Copyright Office please review their mission statement below. Click on the image for further reading about the history of the office since 1870.


Mission Statement of the U.S. Copyright Office: The U.S. Copyright Office promotes creativity and free expression by administering the nation's copyright laws and by providing impartial, expert advice on copyright law and policy for the benefit of all.

Additional Resources

General Resources from the U.S. Copyright Office and the Library of Congress

Historical documents and publications related to U.S. Copyright Law

Created by the Association of Research Libraries

A general overview of copyright from the Library of Congress 

Current Copyright Laws under Title 17 of the United States Code.

FAQ section from U.S. Copyright Office

The U.S. Copyright Office's modernization project that is working on updating their IT system to streamline all recording and documenting processes related to copyright.