Clarification of Answer by
20 Jun 2003 17:23 PDT
If you cannot determine the copyright status of the book by contacting
one of the companies involved, there are other ways to do so but they
can get rather complicated.
"There are several ways to investigate whether a work is under
copyright protection and, if so, the facts of the copyright. These are
the main ones:
Examine a copy of the work for such elements as a copyright notice,
place and date of publication, author and publisher. If the work is a
sound recording, examine the disk, tape cartridge, or cassette in
which the recorded sound is fixed, or the album cover, sleeve, or
container in which the recording is sold.
Make a search of the Copyright Office catalogs and other records; or
Have the Copyright Office make a search for you.
A Few Words of Caution about Copyright Investigations
Copyright investigations often involve more than one of these methods.
Even if you follow all three approaches, the results may not be
conclusive. Moreover, as explained in this circular, the changes
brought about under the Copyright Act of 1976, the Berne Convention
Implementation Act of 1988, the Copyright Renewal Act of 1992, and the
Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act of 1998 must be considered
when investigating the copyright status of a work."
The above quote is from The Library of Congress and the US Copyright
Office. You will find the full procedure here:
http://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ22.html#general - The information
provided is quite lengthy and involves filling out paperwork and
paying fees. Though you can do the search yourself if you go to the
The Copyright Office is located in the Library of Congress James
Madison Memorial Building, 101 Independence Avenue, S.E., Washington,
Most Copyright Office records are open to public inspection and
searching from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., eastern time, Monday through
Friday, except federal holidays. The various records freely available
to the public include an extensive card catalog, an automated catalog
containing records from 1978 forward, record books, and microfilm
records of assignments and related documents. Other records, including
correspondence files and deposit copies, are not open to the public
for searching. However, they may be inspected upon request and payment
of a $75 per hour search fee.
There may be a copyright catalog in your library, but there are
limitations as to what you can find.
Because the Copyright Catalog does not include entries for assignments
or other recorded documents, it cannot be used for searches involving
the ownership of rights.
The Catalog entry contains the essential facts concerning a
registration, but it is not a verbatim transcript of the registration
record. It does not contain the address of the copyright claimant.
The Copyright Office does not offer search assistance to users on the
I still hope this information will help in your search. But since we
are on the Internet and the copyright Office has the policy it does,
the information provided is about as detailed as we can get. And of
course the research fees pretty much preclude a GA researcher going
directly to the source.
If I may clarify anything further, please ask.