All of us who write articles, whether for Web sites, blogs, newsletters, or print publications, should have an understanding of the copyright laws. The direct source for this information is the U.S. Copyright Office Web site. Here is their description of their site and their purpose:
Welcome to the U.S. Copyright Office. We in the Copyright Office are proud to be part of a long tradition of promoting progress of the arts and protection for the works of authors. Our homepage has been created with the desire to serve the copyright community of creators and users, as well as the general public. Here you will find all our key publications, including informational circulars; application forms for copyright registration; links to the copyright law and to the homepages of other copyright-related organizations; a link to our online copyright records cataloged since 1978; news of what the Office is doing, including business process re-engineering plans, Congressional testimony, and press releases; our latest regulations; and much more. We hope you will find what you are looking for here and perhaps learn something new. Our goal is to provide the best public service and the best quality product.