Copyright Essentials: Myths Explained

Copyright Essentials: Myths Explained Flyer

There is a lot of misleading information out there about copyright. On March 27, 2024, the U.S. Copyright Office discussed what is and is not true when it comes to copyright. The Copyright Office wants to make sure you have the facts and know where to go if you need more information.

In this sixty-minute webinar, attendees learned about the Copyright Office's functions, copyright basics, and the Copyright Office's educational resources.


  • Jessica Chinnadurai, Attorney-Advisor, Office of Public Information and Education
  • Laura Kaiser, Attorney-Advisor, Office of Public Information and Education

The Copyright Office aims to broaden public awareness of what the copyright system encompasses and how to participate. A cornerstone of our current strategic plan is Copyright for All, and the Office dedicates itself to making the copyright system as understandable and accessible to as many members of the public as possible.

Copyright Essentials: Myths Explained Header

Resource Center

The presenters provided these related links in the chat during the webinar. The Copyright Office website is the authoritative source for copyright information.

Engage Your Creativity.This collection of resources focuses on how you engage with copyright. It starts with an overview of copyright, including basics, registration, fees, and what is and is not protected. The webpage also highlights information that different types of creators should know about copyright as well as a selection of videos the Office created. (Video reference: 08:36)

Copyright Office Circulars. The Office publishes a set of circulars to provide up-to-date and authoritative information to a general audience. Circulars cover the basics and fundamental concepts of copyright law, highlights of policies and procedures of the Copyright Office, and registration issues for specific categories of works. The presentation specifically highlighted Works Made for Hire (Circular 30). (Video reference: 13:08)

Learning Engine Video Series. The Learning Engine series of videos introduces copyright concepts and the Copyright Office to those who may be new to the topic or who want to learn more. More videos will be added in the future to this page and to our YouTube channel. (Video reference: 16:10)

Copyright Public Records. The Copyright Records Portal is the starting point for finding copyright records. Here, you can search the Office’s online records, learn about our searching and retrieval services, and view educational videos and materials. The Copyright Public Records System (CPRS) pilot is a powerful search engine that provides easy filtering capability and follows user-centered design principles. It runs in parallel with the Copyright Public Catalog, which is the official record. (Video reference: 19:50)

Copyright: Creativity at Work. The Office’s blog, Copyright: Creativity at Work, shares stories of authors, creative works, and copyright law and policy. The blog celebrates diverse creators through heritage month posts and the popular annual post “Lifecycle of Copyright: Works in the Public Domain.” (Video reference: 25:11)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). The Office’s FAQs page answers many of the questions the public has about copyright in general. It also features online registration help FAQs (Video reference: 29:17) plus registration tutorial videos (Video reference: 33:18) that provide step-by-step instructions for completing registration applications.

Application Assistance: Walk Through Requests. The Office provides appointments with staff members to navigate an electronic registration application. During this thirty-minute appointment, a staff member will explain the application screens and the types of information required. (Video reference: 34:21)

Copyright Claims Board (CCB) Handbook. The CCB is a three-member tribunal housed in the Copyright Office with extensive expertise in copyright matters that provides a streamlined alternative to federal court to resolve copyright disputes involving claims up to $30,000. The Handbook provides an in-depth and authoritative resource for filing, responding to and opting out of claims, seeking assistance with your claim, and more. (Video reference: 38:10)

Copyright Office Strategic Plan. The Office’s 2022–2026 strategic plan, Fostering Creativity & Enriching Culture, features four strategic goals: Copyright for All, Continuous Development, Impartial Expertise, and Enhanced Use of Data. (Video reference: 45:40)

Copyright Subscriptions. The Office offers email subscriptions for general information and for specific interests. Subscribe to “What’s New at the U.S. Copyright Office” to receive our NewsNet notifications. (Video reference: 47:18)

Speaker Requests. The Office welcomes invitations for staff and leadership to speak at your event. Submit your request with this form. (Video reference: 48:13)

Contact the Copyright Office. You can submit an online contact form anytime. During business hours, you also can call the Public Information Office at (202) 707-3000 or 1-877-476-0778 (toll-free). (Video reference: 48:22)