How to Check a Copyright Registration

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The U.S. Copyright Office is responsible for filing an arranged content to protect the author's rights. Works of literature, music, art, pictures, movies, recording of sounds and architectural documents are able to be filed. Copyright protection will not be granted for works including titles, names, ideas and methods. A copyright is used as an defense against unlawful use. When searching or checking for a copyright registration, you must have some form of information relating to the document. This can be in the form of the author's name or title of publication.

Open the link to the U.S. Copyright Office located in the references section below. Look to the left of the webpage screen (beginning search screen) and click on the "Search Records" button. Afterwards, Click the "Search the Catalog" button.

Check by the title of the publication or author's name. Type in the title of the document and scroll down the bottom screen to click "Title" selection. Start the search by clicking the "Begin" button. You must type in the title exactly how it is published and refrain from using a, the and other articles. If searching by author's name, type in the last name followed by the first or type in a corporation name exactly how it is used by the business.

Check by inputting a keyword to the document. This search will retrieve all documents containing the words inputted in the search box. Use quotation marks when referring to the document by exact name. To find a variation of the document's name, use "?" right after the word or phrase. An example of this is, "paper?". If a word must appear in every search result, add "+" before the word or phrase. On the beginning search screen, type in your keywords and click the keyword button on the bottom screen. Click the begin search button.

Check by the registration number. All registration numbers will have 12 characters. The document number will start with two to three letters and the rest numbers. Do not use any hyphens, underscores or spaces between these 12 characters. On the beginning search screen, type in the registration number, click the "registration number" button on the bottom screen and press begin search.

Check by the document number. All copyrighted material will also have a nine character document number. This number will start with the letter "v" followed by four numbers, the letter "p" or "d" and ending with three numbers. From the beginning search screen, type in the document number, click the "document number" button on the bottom screen and press begin search.

Have the Copyright Office conduct a search for you. The Copyright Office will search all of its public records to locate the documents you want retrieved. However, they will charge you $165 an hour to do so. This fee is based on a two-hour minimum charge and is prorated through the duration it takes to check copyright records. It is not certain whether they can find the documents you need and certain limitations apply.



About the Author

Cornelus Postell has been a freelance writer since 2002. He's written Web content for Fever Magazine, The Takeover Magazine, and He's written books on personal finance and medical tourism, and his expertise includes business, law, real estate and marketing. Postell holds an Associate of Arts in general studies from Augusta College.

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