RARA-AVIS: Re: Library of Congress

From: Duane Spurlock ( duane1spur@yahoo.com)
Date: 19 Jun 2007

"m23to53" library.john@virgin.net wrote:

<< Apologies for what is probably not a group related topic, though it is technically related I suppose.The Library of Congress copyright records. I assume that some of you, as authors or publishers, have had to send in information for your work to be listed. My question is, does a book have to be published, or be in the process of being published, for a copyright entry to be made? Just that I was doing some checking in the records, and came across various author and title entries for works which do not seem to exist outside a copyright entry.So, allowing for pseudonyms, pre-publication titles etc, can there be a copyright entry for a work which is never actually published? I would appreciate the views of anyone who has been involved with the LOC copyright.

I asked Brian Taves, who works at the Library of Congress, and he responded:

<< Probably the best thing to do is go to www.loc.gov/copyright. But in short, yes, something can be copyrighted and not published, or published and not copyrighted. Or copyrighted and transferred ... and sometimes lapsed. (See my page of notes on the Mundy stories included in Winds From the East!) In turn LC keeps track of all that happens to a given copyright and it can be traced when a researcher needs the info.

But if your friend is writing something of consequence, from a dissertation on up, or publishing a journal, even a fanzine, it is probably best to copyright and thereby ensure some legal protection--even if it means paying the fees involved ($45 I believe now).

I hope that answers the question. All of this can be a real headache with magazine stories from the pulps (owned by the writer? the magazine? successor interests in either?)

- Duane Spurlock www.pulprack.com

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