Are Works By The U.S. Government Protected By Copyright?

Most works created by the U.S. government, including documents prepared by an officer or employee of the federal government as part of that person’s official duties, may be freely copied. However, the right to copy U.S. government-created works without permission generally does not extend to:

  • works create or published by others with the support of U.S. government funds, grants, or contracts;
  • versions of government documents that are edited, annotated, or compiled by publishers; and
  • portions of government documents that contain copyrighted material from other nongovernment sources.