Recently the role of oxidative enzymes in the degradation of polysaccharides by saprophytic bacteria and fungi was uncovered, challenging the classical model of polysaccharide degradation of being solely via a hydrolytic pathway. 3D structural analyses of lytic polysaccharide mono-oxygenases of both bacterial AA10 (formerly CBM33) and fungal AA9 (formerly GH61) enzymes revealed structures with β-sandwich folds containing an active site with a metal coordinated by an N-terminal histidine. Following some initial confusion about the identity of the metal ion it has now been shown that these enzymes are copper-dependent oxygenases. Here we assess recent developments in the academic literature, focussing on the structures of the copper active sites. We provide critical comparisons with known small-molecules studies of copper-oxygen complexes and with copper methane monoxygenase, another of nature's powerful copper oxygenases.