Virtual Card Catalog | U.S. Copyright Office

Frequently Asked Questions about VCC


Virtual Card Catalog | U.S. Copyright Office
1. What is a Proof of Concept?

This Proof of Concept is not a final version of the planned Virtual Card Catalog (VCC). The purpose is to validate the VCC’s feasibility and to verify its potential use for the public. The images are presented in a similar filing order as found in the physical card catalog and may contain filing errors and corrupt images. We are working to identify technical issues to update and improve the overall functionality. Your feedback will provide input into improving the VCC.

This Proof of Concept does not replace or supersede existing search practices established by the United States Copyright Office and the results should not be relied on for legal matters. For information on searching Copyright Records, refer to the circular “How to Investigate the Copyright Status of a Work.”If you would like to request removal of personal information from the Virtual Card Catalog please refer to the circular “Privacy: Copyright Public Records.”


2. What is the Copyright Card Catalog?

The Copyright Card Catalog is the most complete and accurate collection of copyright records of ownership in the world. The cards are indexes to the actual copyright registrations and records in the US Copyright Office from 1870 - 1977.  The virtual card catalog contains images of card drawers and card images that are digitized versions of the physical copies found in the physical card catalog. The Proof of Concept Virtual Card Catalog contains the records from 1955-1977.


3. How do I use the Virtual Card Catalog to locate copyright registrations?

The current VCC is a proof of concept model developed to gather input from the public on the value of hosting the U.S. Copyright Card Catalog online. The VCC contains limited information from the U.S. Copyright Card Catalog. At this point, the VCC does not provide a complete set of card records to allow you to conduct a copyright ownership search.  Please see Circular 22 for information on how to investigate the copyright status of a work.


4. What is an Index?

An index is an alphabetical list of names and titles that point to a record during a specific time period. The indexes or segments within the Card Catalog contain a chronological range of years. For example, within the Card Catalog, there are six registration indexes identified by a specific range of years and includes the drawers and cards.


5. What is a Virtual Card Catalog Drawer?

A virtual card catalog drawer in the VCC contains images of the physical cards located in the Copyright Office’s Public Records Reading Room (CPRRR). A virtual drawer contains images of cards that correspond to the alphabetical range as shown on the front of the drawer.  The cards within the drawer are divided into alphabetical groups:  personal names followed by corporate names and titles.


6. What is a Virtual Card Catalog Card Image?

A virtual catalog card image is an exact replica of the physical card from the Card Catalog. The card image contains bibliographic information about a copyrighted work such as the name of the author and copyright claimant, title, registration number, and date of publication/registration.


7. Are bulk downloads of VCC images available?

Bulk downloads of VCC images are not currently available. The USCO is exploring bulk downloading options and whether there will be a fee associated with the service. Limited downloads can be done from each card drawer and are limited to one card at a time.


8. Does the VCC contain images for all of the cards for 1955-1977?

No, VCC contains roughly 96 percent of the images for 1955-1977 time period. There are a few missing drawers (e.g., there are no U drawers for the 1955-1970 index), and images will continue to be added to the VCC. The images are identified by the index (e.g., 1971-1977), the drawer name (e.g., OHIO A), and a card ID (e.g., 0748). If there is more than one page to a card, a character follows the number (e.g., 0748a). The images are displayed in sets of pages. The page-number range displayed as part of the page results represents the number of images in the page, not the card ID.

DISCLAIMER

This Proof of Concept is not a final version of the planned Virtual Card Catalog (VCC). The purpose is to validate the VCC’s feasibility and to verify its potential use for the public. The images are presented in a similar filing order as found in the physical card catalog and may contain filing errors and corrupt images. We are working to identify technical issues to update and improve the overall functionality. Your feedback will provide input into improving the VCC. This Proof of Concept does not replace or supersede existing search practices established by the United States Copyright Office and the results should not be relied on for legal matters. For information on searching Copyright Records, refer to the circular“How to Investigate the Copyright Status of a Work.”If you would like to request removal of personal information from the Virtual Card Catalog please refer to the circular “Privacy: Copyright Public Records.”