Although copyright registration is voluntary in Canada and the U.S., each country has an online and “offline” registration system, a database of registered documents, and offers a website containing other useful copyright information. Each website is quite comprehensive though the U.S. Copyright Office site has substantially much more educational and other materials than the Canadian Copyright Office website.
In the past few weeks, both the Canadian and U.S. Copyright Offices have updated the look of their websites. Both sites are more visually appealing and easier to navigate.
New U.S. Copyright Office Website
The U.S. Copyright Office new website is much cleaner and easier to navigate than its previous site. When you enter the site, you are given four choices: register a copyright; record a document; search records; and learn about statutory licensing. I would guess that most people visiting the site are looking for general information on copyright law, information on registering a copyright work or locating a copyright owner. This updated site has a tutorial on completing an electronic copyright registration. A tutorial that details each step of searching the records is also accessible from the home page of the website. There is tons of other useful information so worth taking a look and browsing through the new website.
New Canadian Copyright Office Website
The Canadian Intellectual Property (IP) Office houses the website for each area of IP in Canada. When you enter the Copyright portion of the site, you will see a slider with a guide to copyright; a link to searching copyrights, and an explanation of what is copyright. The site is much more visual than its predecessor and allows you to choose things such as register a copyright, view registration fees, order documents, and transfer copyright ownership. Similar and further information is set out again through a series of icons labelled: learn; apply; online services; and resources. A lot of the links take you back to the older design of the website and it’s possible that these older pages will soon also reflect the new design and ease of locating relevant information.
Both the U.S. and Canadian Copyright Office websites are more useful than ever as a primary resource for researching copyright issues.
Learn more about Canadian + U.S. copyright law.
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