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Copyright Toolkit - Identifying and Locating Copyright Owners

Located below are web sites that offer tools and outline techniques for identifying and contacting the copyright owner of a work in order to seek permission to use it.

This toolkit was not prepared by an attorney and is not intended to substitute for legal advice.

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Copyright Clearance Center (CCC) serves as an intermediary between copyright holders and content users, facilitating the exchange of reuse rights and royalties through its licensing services. CCC manages the rights to over 1.75 million works and represents more than 9,600 publishers and hundreds of thousands of authors and other creators.

From the University of Texas System, this is a detailed guide to searching for copyright owners and asking permission to use copyrighted works. This site includes information on textual works, as well as art, music, plays, movies, and foreign works. Also discusses unidentifiable or unresponsive owners.

Circular 22 from the United States Copyright Office on how to investigate the copyright status of a work.

From the Columbia University Libraries Copyright Advisory Office, this guide provides the basics on locating and contacting authors, publishers, and other copyright owners.

From the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin, this step-by-step guide outlines the process of identifying and locating copyright owners for researchers.

From the Society of American Archivists comes a guide for archivists and others to use when a copyright owner cannot be located or contacted. This guide focuses primarily on the types of unpublished materials typically found in archives.

Search records of registered books, music, art, periodicals, and other works, and documents recorded by the U.S. Copyright Office since January 1, 1978. Includes copyright ownership documents.