On July 22, 1897, Boston book dealer and noted copyright expert Thorvald Solberg was appointed the first Register of Copyrights for the newly-created U.S. Copyright Office. Appointed by John Russell Young, the Librarian of Congress, Solberg served as Register for 33 years, grew the Office from a few clerks to a professional staff of over 100 people, and was an influential voice in the policy and passage of the Copyright Act of 1909. From the History of Copyright Timeline at the U.S. Copyright Office.
On July 13, 1914, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed the adherence of the United States to the Convention on Literary and Artistic Copyright (the “Buenos Aires Convention”), which was first signed in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1910 by the U.S. and 19 Central and South American countries. From the History of Copyright Timeline at the U.S. Copyright Office.
104 years later, on July 10, 1974, the United States joined the 1971 revision of the Universal Copyright Convention (“UCC”). Originally adopted in Geneva, Switzerland in 1952, the UCC is one of two principal international copyright conventions, the other being the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works. The U.S. has been a member of the UCC since 1955, and a member of the Berne Convention since 1989. From the History of Copyright Timeline at the U.S. Copyright Office.
On July 8, 1870, the second general revision of U.S. copyright law centralized copyright activities, including registration and deposit, in the Library of Congress. It also extended protection to works of art, gave authors the right to create their own derivative works, including translations and dramatizations, and began the indexing of registration records. From the History of Copyright Timeline at the U.S. Copyright Office.
In July 1891, records of registered works were published in book form for the first time. This compilation, now called the Catalog of Copyright Entries, was published semi-annually in book form by the U.S. Copyright Office from 1891 through 1978, and on microfiche from 1979 through 1982. Today, all registration records from 1978 to the present are publicly accessible through the Office’s website. More information about obtaining access to copyright registration records is available here. From the History of Copyright Timeline at the U.S. Copyright Office.
On July 1, 2007, electronic registration on the U.S. Copyright Office website was made available to the public. The eCO Registration System (“electronic Copyright Office”) offers numerous advantages over traditional paper filings, such as faster application processing, online status tracking, significantly lower fees, more payment options, the ability to upload certain types of works as electronic files, and, of course, the convenience of doing all of the above in your pajamas, if you are so inclined. From the History of Copyright Timeline at the U.S. Copyright Office.