Copyright Modernization

The Copyright Office strives to provide high-quality services to its users. Therefore, the Office must develop an innovative and robust technological infrastructure that will provide these services in a streamlined, efficient, and cost-effective manner.


IT modernization has been a top priority since 2011, beginning with a detailed analysis and review of the Office’s systems. The Office laid out its vision for this future-state IT enterprise solution in three documents—the Strategic Plan 2016—2020: Positioning the United States Copyright Office for the Future, the Provisional Information Technology Modernization Plan and Cost Analysis, and the Modified U.S. Copyright Office Provisional IT Modernization Plan. These plans highlight the need for a modernized IT infrastructure (to be facilitated by the Copyright Modernization Office), transforming the Copyright Office into a “lean, nimble, results-driven organization with the tools necessary to serve its varied constituencies—from the copyright community, to government entities, to the public at large.”


The roadmaps on this page represent a high-level plan to transform the Copyright Office into a modern organization that is better able to meet current and emerging trends in the copyright landscape as well as future changes to the law. As modernization continues, these sections will be updated to reflect the latest snapshot of Office activity and progress.



Systems Development

The systems development section of the roadmap focuses on the IT efforts, specifically:

  • replacing the functionality covered by the legacy electronic Copyright Office (eCO) online system;
  • retiring legacy back-office systems that are no longer cost effective to operate;
  • automating remaining paper-based processes within the various divisions, as appropriate; and
  • refreshing the Office approach to technology (where possible), processes, and branding.

Progress will be measured by key performance indicators (KPIs) defined during the planning stages of each project.

Business Aligment

The business alignment section of the roadmap focuses solely on Copyright Office modernization. Starting in fiscal 2018, the Office is assessing its structure and performing a gap analysis. As a result, the Office is creating and implementing a plan to better align itself with current, as well as emergent, copyright needs. The progress will be measured by the KPIs defined during the planning stage. CMO’s data management team will provide additional analysis of the KPIs and will process data to help Office management meet the new strategic direction and its associated goals.


In addition to organizational analysis, the Office will undertake an organizational change management effort to communicate with all of the internal stakeholders, promoting collaboration and transparency. A strong communications plan will be a key aspect of this activity. As the new enterprise solution is created, the Office will retrain staff to use the new system and to develop the required skillsets for administering copyright laws within the twenty-first century.


During the modernization push, each division will look at its policies and update them to reflect the current legal and business environments and copyright and intellectual property protection (IPP) trends.


Finally, the current Customer Service Desk structure will be analyzed and reconfigured to support any new systems and processes that have changed due to organizational and policy changes.

Industry/Public Alignment

The industry/public alignment section will focus on external-facing activities driven by changes to the copyright law and emerging trends within the IPP fields. This initiative will start by garnering an understanding of how the technology refresh will impact the public. Based on these findings, new training materials and user guides will be created to assist both internal staff and the general public throughout the modernization transition.


In addition, the public-facing Customer Service Desk and the Public Information Office will be retrained to support the new enterprise system and to answer questions about changes in policies and the copyright law. The Office intends to reach out to the public through various vehicles and outreach initiatives to gather feedback and to craft need-based requirements. Again, a well-executed strong communications plan is key to successful modernization.


From a data management standpoint, the CMO intends to analyze the available data to help determine how the Copyright Office can better serve both external copyright stakeholders and the public at large. Additionally, the Office will leverage internal and external subject-matter expertise to help guide policy, to develop and update communications, and to create a technical solution that meets the needs of the copyright community for the foreseeable future.

Project Milestones

The items in this section display upcoming key completion milestones and metrics, thereby informing stakeholders of progress toward the Office modernization end goal.