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United States Copyright Office

The United States Copyright Office , a part of the [Library of Congress] , is the official U.S. government body that maintains records of [copyright registration] in the [United States] . It is used by copyright title searchers who are attempting to clear a [chain of title] for copyrighted works.

The head of the Copyright Office is called the [Register of Copyrights] . The current Register is [Marybeth Peters] , who has held the office since 1994.

The Copyright Office is housed in the [James Madison Memorial Building] of the Library of Congress, at 101 Independence Avenue, SE, in Washington, DC.

The [United States Constitution] gives Congress the power to enact laws establishing a system of copyright in the United States, and the [Copyright Act of 1790] , the first federal copyright law, was enacted in May 1790 (with the first work being registered within two weeks). Originally, claims were recorded by Clerks of [U.S. district courts] . In 1870, copyright functions were centralized in the Library of Congress under the direction of the then [Librarian of Congress] [Ainsworth Rand Spofford] . The Copyright Office became a separate department of the Library of Congress in 1897, and [Thorvald Solberg] was appointed the first [Register of Copyright] s.

The mission of the Copyright Office is to promote creativity by administering and sustaining an effective national copyright system. While the purpose of the copyright system has always been to promote creativity in society, the functions of the Copyright Office have grown to include the following:

Administering the copyright law
The Office examines all applications and deposits presented for registration of original and renewal copyright claims to determine their acceptability for registration under the provisions of the copyright law. The Office also records documents related to copyright ownership.

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