I need permission to use a copyrighted work. How do I find out who owns it?

The Library of Congress only holds copyright information for works registered with the Copyright Office.  Subsequent transfers of ownership are sometimes reported to the Copyright Office, but very often are not.  Unless this information appears in the Copyright Office records, we would be unable to locate such information. Records for works submitted since 1978 can be found in the Copyright Office database of registrations at https://cocatalog.loc.gov/ . Works registered prior to 1978 are listed in the card catalog in the Copyright Office, and in the published Catalog of Copyright Entries at other major libraries. The Copyright Office has digitized the 661 volumes of the catalog, and these are now available at http://archive.org/details/copyrightrecords/ External .

Additional information on locating copyright holders can be found on the site of Columbia University Libraries:   https://copyright.columbia.edu/basics/permissions-and-licensing.html External and https://copyright.columbia.edu/basics/special-cases.html External .

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Last Updated: Jul 17, 2020
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