c i r c u l a r 9 2
Copyright Law of the United States
and Related Laws Contained in Tıtle 17 of the United States Code
o c t o b e r 2 0 0 7
The Constitutional Provision Respecting Copyright
The Congress shall have Power … To promote the Progress of Science
and useful Arts, by securing for limited Tımes to Authors and Inventors
the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.
United States Constitution, Article I, Section 8
This volume contains the text of title 17 of the United States Code, including all
amendments enacted through the end of the second session of the 109th Congress,
in 2006. It includes the Copyright Act of 1976 and all subsequent amendments
to copyright law; the Semiconductor Chip Protection Act of 1984, as amended;
and the Vessel Hull Design Protection Act, as amended. The Copyright Office is
responsible for registering claims under all three.
The United States copyright law is contained in chapters 1 through 8 and 10
through 12 of title 17 of the United States Code. The Copyright Act of 1976, which
provides the basic framework for the current copyright law, was enacted on
October 19, 1976, as Pub. L. No. 94-553, 90 Stat. 2541. Listed below in chronologi-
cal order of their enactment are subsequent amendments to copyright law.
Chapters 9 and 13 of title 17 contain statutory design protection that is inde-
pendent of copyright protection. Chapter 9 of title 17 is the Semiconductor Chip
Protection Act of 1984 (SCPA), as amended. On November 8, 1984, the SCPA was
enacted as title III of Pub. L. No. 98-620, 98 Stat. 3335, 3347. Chapter 13 of title 17
is the Vessel Hull Design Protection Act (VHDPA). It was enacted on October 28,
1998 as title V of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), Pub. L. No. 105-
304, 112 Stat. 2860, 2905. Subsequent amendments to the SCPA and the VHDPA
are also included in the list below, in chronological order of their enactment.
Significant copyright legislation enacted since the last edition of this circular