Answered By: Bob Flatley
Last Updated: May 20, 2015     Views: 51

See our Fair Use page and our compliance for faculty guidelines page for specific tools to help with these tasks.

From the Copyright Office:

To find out who owns the copyright to a registered work:

The Copyright Office can provide you with the information available in their records. A search of registrations, renewals, and recorded transfers of ownership made before 1978 requires a manual search of their files. Upon request, their staff will search their records at the statutory rate of $200 for each hour (2 hour minimum). There is no fee if you conduct a search in person at the Copyright Office.

Copyright registrations made and documents recorded from 1978 to date are available for searching online. For further information, see Circular 22, How to Investigate the Copyright Status of a Work, and Circular 23, Copyright Card Catalog and the Online File.

To get permission to use a copyrighted work:

You can ask for it. If you know who the copyright owner is, you may contact the owner directly. If you are not certain about the ownership or have other related questions, you may wish to request that the Copyright Office conduct a search of its records or you may search yourself.

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