Identifying and Locating Copyright Owners

U.S. Copyright Office – Search Copyright Records
The official website of the U.S. Copyright Office allows one to search records of registered books, music, art, periodicals, and other works recorded since January 1, 1978. Records included copyright ownership documents.

Locating U.S. Copyright Holders
A webpage developed by the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin, this contains a step-by-step guide that outlines the process of identifying and locating copyright owners. Also provides resources for locating addresses of authors and ones that give location information for an author’s paper.

Getting Permission
A page from the University of Texas Library’s Copyright Crash Course that contains a detailed guide to searching for copyright owners and the process of asking permission. In addition, the guide provides links to sources for not only textual works, discovering copyright owners of dramatic works, art, music, movies, and foreign works.

Copyright Renewal Database – Stanford University
Between the period from 1923-1963, works published required a renewal registration to prevent the expiration of copyright. This Stanford created database makes searchable the copyright renewal records received by the U.S . Copyright Office between 1950 – 1992 for books published in the U.S. between 1923-1963. The database ONLY contains US Class A (book) renewals.

ASPP’s Best Practices for Locating Copyright Owners of Photographic and Visual Art
American Society of Picture Professionals list of recommended approaches for locating copyright owners of visual images along with a host of helpful links on where to organizations and websites that might be helpful in locating them.

Music Publishers Association of the US – Copyright Search
A guide put together by the MPA to help locate copyright owners of a piece of music and links to various organizations that offer helpful search tools.

Obtaining Permissions

Copyright Clearance Center
Copyright Clearance Center (CCC) is a global licensing company that serves as a middle man between copyright holders and content users facilitating the exchange of royalties and reuse rights for textual materials.

Model Permission Letters – Columbia Copyright Advisory Office
From the Columbia University Libraries’ Copyright Advisory Office, this page provides an overview for procedures for requesting permission from a copyright owner. Page includes three sample model permission letters – one for video use, one for text use, and one for use of material in a course management system.

AALL – Code of Best Practices for Licensing Electronic Resources
American Association of Law Libraries put together a toolkit for librarians and vendors involved in the licensing process. This code and kit help guide libraries in negotiations for access to electronic resources. This toolkit contains a checklist for licensing electronic resources, resources for licensing terms, resources for sample clauses and model license agreements, and a procurement process checklist specifically for law libraries.

California Digital Library – Challenges to Licensing from Some Publishers
A document produced by the California Digital Library explaining the challenges and roadblocks universities face obtaining electronic resources and reasons why system-wide licenses are not yet available for some online resources.

Negotiating and Complying With Electronic Database License Agreements by Mattson & Schneider
An AALL article written by Ingrid Mattson and Linda-Jean Schneider about license agreements and how best to evaluate and navigate them to get the best results for one’s library users.

*Image is under a CCO Creative Commons license and located at Startup Stock Photos