The United States Copyright Office has announced that they are nearing the completion of the digitization of the Catalog of Copyright Entries with online availability through the Internet Archive. 645 CCE volumes are now available at http://www.archive.org/details/copyrightrecords/ ranging from the very first publication in 1891 up to and including 1978 and these cover all classes of works and all renewals. A few volumes are still in process due to their size which will require additional preparation prior to scanning.
The 1978 volumes have been included because they contain entries for pre-1978 registrations that were not complete at the time of publication of the 1977 CCE’s. These entries appear in a separate section at the end of each volume. All registrations made under the Copyright Law that went into effect on January 1, 1978 are available online at the Copyright Office website: http://www.copyright.gov/records/.
Scanning of the cards in the Copyright Card Catalog is continuing with completion of cards back to1955 expected in a few months. Based on the positive feedback to the recent posts about a virtual card catalog, we are also researching how to best construct such a catalog using derivative images from these scans.
Study and testing of the use of optical character recognition (OCR) to capture data from the card images is proceeding as well as the feasibility of using crowd sourcing. Some of the records will lend themselves to these processes and some probably won’t.
They are also working on ways to parse out the titles and the author and claimant names in order to produce index terms for a full online search capability. It remains their ultimate goal to provide a search capability that spans both pre-1978 and post-1977 records and that supports searching by title and name with means to narrow the results to the particular item of interest.
This is a welcome development as the US Copyright Office has lagged behind other US Government Intellectual Property related offices in digitizing its records. The US Patent and Trademark Office has made digital records available of trademark registrations, pending trademark applications, issued patents and published patent applications for many years now.