United States copyright law governs the legally enforceable rights of creative and artistic works under the laws of the United States.
Copyright law in the United States is part of federal law, and is authorized by the U.S. Constitution. The power to enact copyright law is granted in Article I, Section 8, Clause 8, also known as the Copyright Clause, which states:
The Congress shall have Power [. . .] To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.
This clause forms the basis for U.S. copyright law ("Science", "Authors", "Writings") and patent law ("useful Arts", "Inventors", "Discoveries"), and includes the limited terms (or durations) allowed for copyrights and patents ("limited Times"), as well as the items they may protect ("exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries").
In the U.S., registrations of claims of copyright, recordation of copyright transfers, and other administrative aspects of copyright are the responsibility of the United States Copyright Office, a part of the Library of Congress.