Thursday, July 5, 2012

Verifying Copyrights

Recently, I found it necessary to search the Copyright Office catalog to make sure that all of my titles were indeed registered with the copyright office, not only titles I'd published, but also titles that other publishers were to have registered, as per my contract(s). And if you get your rights back, this should be one of the first things you do.

I found the below link to be very helpful in locating this information, and I wanted to share it with my fellow authors. Simply searching the copyright website might lead some to believe it may be necessary to pay for a search by submitting the title information and then paying a certain amount per hour. This is not the case if you simply want to check titles.

The link is: Copyright Search and you can check any title from 1978 to present, using either the title, author's name, or keywords, or any registration/document numbers.

Obviously, the importance of having your work copyrighted cannot be stressed enough. While it is true that your work is under copyright protection "the moment it is created and fixed in a tangible form that it is perceptible either directly or with the aid of a machine or device," it is very important to have an original certificate of copyright in your possession just in case it becomes necessary to dispute or defend your works against infringement by others. You may also prefer to have your copyright as public record for many reasons.

Please visit for more information - you can use the eCO option to register your works electronically for a fee of $35. This can be used for ebooks, as opposed to back in the day when the only option we had was to mail the printed books months after the publication date.

Write on, or should I say, Copyright on - (I had too much 4th of July BBQ - sorry).


Jewel Amethyst said...

Good nugget of useful information. Thanks.

G. B. Miller said...

Good idea.

Hopefuly by now, the Copyright office has made a dent in the backlog of copyright registration.

Late last year, I got a copyright certificate for a volume of short stories that I sent to them back in late 2008.

Charles Gramlich said...

yes indeed, some handy info. Appreciated.

William Doonan said...

Wow! Cool post. I never thought of doing all this, but I see the value. Thanks!

Marissa Monteilh said...

Thanks Jewel, G.B., Charles and William for your comments! Yes, they are backlogged. I'd say they need to hire some folks :) Blessings!

Liane Spicer said...

Thanks for the tip, Marissa!