Compendium of U.S. Copyright Practices, 3rd Edition

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605.1 General Policies


605.1 General Policies

Legal advice not provided. Communications involving the examination of an application should be limited to issues concerning registration and related matters. The U.S. Copyright Office’s staff will not offer legal opinions or advice on other matters, such as the rights of persons in connection with contracts, infringement disputes, or matters of a similar nature. 37 C.F.R. § 201.2 (A) (3). Likewise, the Office’s staff will not offer or undertake to resolve disputes concerning conflicting claims to copyright. If there is a dispute between two or more parties involving a claim to copyright, it is the responsibility of each party to pursue their claims in an appropriate forum.


Communications to be clear, concise, and polite. All communications from the Office should be clear in meaning, concise in statement, and polite in tone. As a general rule, the Office will consider all oral or written communications from the applicant, but will not consider or respond to any abusive, offensive, or scurrilous communications directed to the Office or any of its staff. Similarly, the Office’s staff will terminate any conversation, correspondence, or interview, if the applicant makes abusive or scurrilous statements or engages in threatening or otherwise inappropriate behavior. 37 C.F.R. § 201.2 (C) (4).


Business conducted in the English language. Written communications to the Office should be in English. Communications from the Office are written in English, and as a general rule, oral communications with the Office are conducted in English. In limited circumstances and on special request, the Office may be able to examine applications or respond to communications that are written in languages other than English. The Office may provide this service as a courtesy, but it is under no obligation to do so and may ask the applicant to submit an English translation of statements that appear in the registration materials or in a communication from the applicant before it takes any action.


Communicating with persons with disabilities. The Office will make accommodations for persons with disabilities upon request.


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