Copyright Clearance Center
Welcome
|
|
|
|
|

Author Information

Questions about Copyright Clearance Center's services for rightsholders

  1. What does signing a rightsholder agreement allow Copyright Clearance Center to do with my copyright-protected works?
  2. What are the benefits of signing an agreement with Copyright Clearance Center?
  3. Is signing an agreement with Copyright Clearance Center the same as registering the copyright to my work?
  4. What are the different services available?
  5. What does it cost for a rightsholder to sign an agreement?
  6. What royalty fee should I charge content users?
  7. What works should I list with Copyright Clearance Center?
  8. Can I list digital or electronic works?
  9. Does Copyright Clearance Center provide content?
  10. How can I maximize the royalties I receive from Copyright Clearance Center?
  11. How should I direct my readers to Copyright Clearance Center to obtain permission to reuse my works?
  12. How can I find out which works I have listed with Copyright Clearance Center?
  13. How can I update my account information, such as change of address, royalty fee changes, or works listed?
  14. I no longer retain the copyright, or have newly obtained the copyright, to certain works. How do I notify Copyright Clearance Center of these changes?
  15. Can I work with Copyright Clearance Center if I am not a rightsholder from the U.S.?

Questions about royalty payment policies

  1. Why did I receive a request for IRS Form W-9 or W-8?
  2. How can I eliminate the additional 15% manual processing fee on requests for permission granted through Copyright Clearance Center?
  3. When will I receive a check for royalties once I've given Copyright Clearance Center authorization to grant permission for the reuse of my work?
  4. What is Copyright Clearance Center's minimum payment policy?
  5. Why did I receive an IRS Form 1099?
  6. How can I review historical royalty payment information?
  7. Can I receive royalty payment reports in electronic format?

Questions about the distribution of foreign royalties

  1. Why did I receive a royalty check for the photocopying of works outside of the United States from Copyright Clearance Center?
  2. What is a Reproduction Rights Organization, or RRO?
  3. Do you know what works of mine were copied in other countries?
  4. Is it illegal for someone in a foreign country to photocopy copyright-protected material without permission?
  5. How can I be sure I am the correct recipient for these funds?
  6. How were you able to locate me?
  7. Does cashing this check obligate me in any way to Copyright Clearance Center?
  8. What does Copyright Clearance Center charge for this service?

Questions about copyright for authors

  1. What is "copyright"?
  2. What are "rights"?
  3. What are "works"?
  4. Who is considered an "author"?
  5. What is a "work made for hire"?
  6. Do I need to do anything special to obtain a copyright?
  7. Do I need to register my copyright?
  8. Is signing an agreement with Copyright Clearance Center the same as registering the copyright to my work?
  9. Can I copyright my idea; brand name; slogan; title?
  10. Do I need a copyright notice to protect my work?
  11. Does copyright protection extend internationally?
  12. Can the exclusive rights under copyright be assigned to another party?
  13. What is the "public domain"?
  14. What is a "standard number"?
  15. What is "copyright infringement"?
  16. Is copyright infringement always criminal?
  17. How does Copyright Clearance Center educate readers and content users about copyright?
  18. Does Copyright Clearance Center have a copyright compliance program?
  19. Where can I get more general information about copyright?
  20. Where can I get more information on pending congressional bills regarding copyright law?


Questions about Copyright Clearance Center's services for rightsholders

  1. What does signing a rightsholder agreement allow Copyright Clearance Center to do with my copyright-protected works?
    You authorize Copyright Clearance Center to grant permission to content users to copy excerpts from your copyright-protected works, and collect royalty fees on your behalf. Pre-authorizing your work allows Copyright Clearance Center to automatically grant permission on your behalf, instead of soliciting your permission on a case-by-case basis.
  2. What are the benefits of signing an agreement with Copyright Clearance Center?
    Copyright Clearance Center is a one-stop clearinghouse for copyright permissions making it easier for readers (content users) to obtain permission to reuse written works. You as a copyrightholder make it easier for content users to get permission to copy and share your copyright-protected works, which ultimately reduces the likelihood of copyright infringement. Pre-authorizing your work eliminates the need to solicit your permission on a case-by-case basis, and eliminates the deduction of associated manual processing fees from your royalty.

    Learn more about benefits for authors.

  3. Is signing an agreement with Copyright Clearance Center the same as registering the copyright to my work?
    No. Copyright Clearance Center cannot register copyrights. Copyright registration must be done through the U.S. Copyright Office at the Library of Congress. By signing an agreement with Copyright Clearance Center, you authorize us to grant permission to content users to copy excerpts from your copyright-protected works, and collect royalties on your behalf.
  4. What are the different services available?
    Learn about services for authors.
  5. What does it cost for a rightsholder to sign an agreement?
    There is no cost for a rightsholder to sign an agreement with Copyright Clearance Center. As a not-for-profit organization, Copyright Clearance Center covers operating costs by retaining a percentage of royalty fees collected for rightsholders as a service charge. The percentage retained can vary by service and level of participation, and ranges from 16% to 32%.
  6. What royalty fee should I charge content users?
    Under limitations imposed by anti-trust law, Copyright Clearance Center cannot advise rightsholders on setting royalty fees. You may browse through our online catalog of titles to gain a better understanding of the range of royalty fees that other rightsholders charge.
  7. What works should I list with Copyright Clearance Center?
    You may list previously published textual works for which you hold the reproduction rights (for photocopy and electronic distribution). Rightsholders who hold rights to many works may want to give priority to recently published works, works about contemporary subjects, and works most likely to be reused in a corporate or academic environment. (If a work is requested that is not listed in our catalog of titles, we will add that work to our catalog and solicit the rightsholder for permission on the content user's behalf.)
  8. Can I list digital and electronic works?
    Yes. More copyright-protected content than ever is now available online and in other digital formats. If a content user requests permission to reuse digital content that is a complement to a print work already listed in Copyright Clearance Center's catalog of titles, requests for permission will be processed under the same terms as the print work. If you would like your digital works handled separately, we will list them separately in our catalog of titles.
  9. Does Copyright Clearance Center provide content?
    Copyright Clearance Center does not provide content. Content users are responsible for obtaining the material they wish to reuse. Copyright Clearance Center provides content users with the necessary legal permission to copy and share copyright-protected material that they acquire through other sources and already have in hand.
  10. How can I maximize the royalties I receive from Copyright Clearance Center?
    Readers are the potential users of your content. Educate your readers about your relationship with Copyright Clearance Center as a participating rightsholder, and direct your readers to Copyright Clearance Center to obtain permission to copy and distribute your works.
  11. How should I direct my readers to Copyright Clearance Center to obtain permission to reuse my works?
    Place a statement in your printed and/or digital works to direct your readers to contact Copyright Clearance Center for permission to reuse your works (see sample statement).

    You can also create a link from your Web site to copyright.com to give your online readers an easy way to contact Copyright Clearance Center for permission. Contact a Rightsholder Relations representative.

    Sample statement: For permission to reuse copyrighted content from (name of work and/or standard number), please go to www.copyright.com, or contact Copyright Clearance Center, 222 Rosewood Drive, Danvers, MA 01923, telephone 978-750-8400, fax 978-646-8600. Copyright Clearance Center is a not-for-profit organization that provides copyright licensing on behalf of (name of rightsholder).

  12. How can I find out which works I have listed with Copyright Clearance Center?
    Request a Rightsholder Inventory Report to review the works you have listed in our services by e-mail, or call us at 978-750-8400. This report is delivered in an easy-to-read Excel spreadsheet.
  13. How can I update my account information, such as change of address, royalty fee changes, or works listed?
    E-mail us to update your rightsholder account information.
  14. I no longer retain the copyright, or have newly obtained the copyright, to certain works. How do I notify Copyright Clearance Center of these changes?
    We offer instructions to add or modify information about your works listed in Copyright Clearance Center's online catalog of titles.
  15. Can I work with Copyright Clearance Center if I am not a rightsholder from the U.S.?
    It is best to work with the Reproduction Rights Organization (RRO) in your own country. Visit the International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organizations (IFRRO) to find your national RRO.


Questions about royalty payment policies

  1. Why did I receive a request for IRS Form W-9 or W-8?
    Copyright Clearance Center is required by tax regulations to request that all U.S. rightsholders potentially due a royalty payment return a completed Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Form W-9, Request for Taxpayer Identification and Certification (or Form W-8 for non-U.S. taxpayers). Without the applicable form on file we are required to withhold and pay to the IRS a designated portion of any royalty payment due. This is called "backup withholding."

    More information on backup withholding and Forms W-9 and W-8 can be found at the IRS Web site. Download additional forms. Fax completed forms to 978-750-4904, Attention: Finance Dept, or mail to Copyright Clearance Center, Attention: Finance Dept, 222 Rosewood Drive, Danvers, MA 01923.

    Concerned about identity theft? Find out more from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

  2. How can I eliminate the additional 15% manual processing fee on requests for permission granted through Copyright Clearance Center?
    The manual processing fee is deducted from your royalty, in addition to any standard service charge, if we are required to solicit your permission on a case-by-case basis. You can avoid this fee by pre-authorizing your works in our services, which thereby authorizes Copyright Clearance Center to grant permissions on your behalf.

    Pre-authorize your work in our services.

  3. When will I receive a check for royalties once I've given Copyright Clearance Center authorization to grant permission for the reuse of my work?
    Content users are invoiced for royalty fees once permission to reuse a work has been received from the rightsholder. Royalties are distributed to the rightsholder after the content user remits payment to Copyright Clearance Center. Once permission has been granted the time frame in which associated royalties are distributed can vary for a number of reasons:

    • The content user may ultimately have chosen not to make reproductions of the work.
    • Payment from the content user may be delayed.
    • Royalties may be due to be paid in the next scheduled quarterly royalty distribution.
    • Copyright Clearance Center has a $50 annual minimum payment policy.

    If you have questions about a specific permission request, please contact us and include the Order Detail number.

  4. What is Copyright Clearance Center's minimum payment policy?
    Royalty payments of $250 or more are distributed quarterly. If your royalties total between $50 and $249 you will receive an annual distribution from Copyright Clearance Center. You will not receive any distributions until your royalties accumulate to a minimum of $50. Royalties below $50 are carried forward to subsequent years until they meet the $50 minimum and are eligible for distribution. If you think you may be due a royalty payment under $50, please contact us.
  5. Why did I receive an IRS Form 1099?
    Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Form 1099 reports to you your royalty payments from Copyright Clearance Center for the tax year. A royalty check from Copyright Clearance Center is considered royalty income, which is ordinarily subject to income tax in the United States. A Form 1099 reflecting royalties paid and backup withholding, if applicable, is issued at the end of the year to all recipients of royalties paid by Copyright Clearance Center, and a copy is sent to the IRS. See the IRS Web site for more information on Form 1099.
  6. How can I review historical royalty payment information?
    Each royalty payment includes reports correlating to that payment. Maintaining a record of these royalty payment reports is the best way to analyze historical data on the reuse of your copyrighted works. To obtain a copy of a previous report, please contact us.
  7. Can I receive royalty payment reports in electronic format?
    To receive payment reports in an Excel spreadsheet via e-mail, please contact us.


Questions about the distribution of foreign royalties

  1. Why did I receive a royalty check for the photocopying of works outside of the United States from Copyright Clearance Center?
    Under bilateral agreements with Reproduction Rights Organizations (RROs) around the world, Copyright Clearance Center is able to distribute royalties collected outside of the United States for the photocopying of printed texts. Fees are collected for photocopying in schools, universities, businesses, research centers and elsewhere. Most foreign RROs collect license fees for photocopying under special legislation in their country that permits the use of U.S. works without authorization from the U.S. rightsholder.

    The check you received is for the portion of those fees designated for you, per regulations and special arrangements in the collecting country. This type of distribution is called a "cross-border payment." Copyright Clearance Center did not necessarily authorize the use of your works. Our role is to work with foreign RROs to repatriate these funds to publishers, authors and other creators in the U.S.

  2. What is a Reproduction Rights Organization, or RRO?
    RROs began in response to the need to license wide-scale photocopy access to the world's scientific and cultural printed works. RROs are a form of the "collecting societies" that exist in other creative areas where large numbers of creative works need to be licensed in a convenient fashion, such as through music performance rights organizations (e.g., ASCAP and BMI).

    Copyright Clearance Center is the RRO for the United States. For more information on RROs, visit the International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organizations (IFRRO) website.

  3. Do you know what works of mine were copied in other countries?
    Not necessarily. Some Reproduction Rights Organizations (RROs) provide more detail than others, and some foreign RROs do not collect any information about what works, or how much of any work, has been copied. Any information provided by the collecting RRO is enclosed with the royalty check.
  4. Is it illegal for someone in a foreign country to photocopy copyright-protected material without permission?
    Not necessarily. Copyright law in other countries can vary greatly from U.S. copyright law. In some other countries, permission is not necessarily required from any rightsholder or creator to photocopy printed material. Under the principle of "national treatment," as found in the Berne and Universal Copyright Conventions, each country's Reproduction Rights Organization (RRO) collects and distributes royalties for foreign authors and publishers on the same basis as it does for its domestic authors and publishers, following their own countries' copyright laws and practices, rather than U.S. contract law or U.S. copyright law. The RROs that have collected these photocopy license fees have done so with full legal authority in their own countries.
  5. How can I be sure I am the correct recipient for these funds?
    These funds are intended for the payee indicated. Under the principle of "national treatment," as found in the Berne and Universal Copyright Conventions, Copyright Clearance Center distributes these funds in accordance with the rules of the country that collected the funds, rather than U.S. contract law or U.S. copyright law. These rules can require that a certain percentage of funds be distributed to publishers and a certain percentage be distributed directly to authors/creators. Or, if information about the work copied is available, these rules can require that the funds be distributed to the current U.S. rightsholder. If you have further concerns, please contact us.
  6. How were you able to locate me?
    Copyright Clearance Center uses a variety of resources to locate authors, publishers and other rightsholders, including our existing database, commercially available databases, Internet research, online telephone directories, and through communication with publishers, literary agents and trade organizations.

  7. Does cashing this check obligate me in any way to Copyright Clearance Center?
    No, cashing the check in no way obligates you to Copyright Clearance Center, nor does it require your participation in any Copyright Clearance Center program.
  8. What does Copyright Clearance Center charge for this service?
    As a not-for-profit organization, Copyright Clearance Center covers operating costs for this program by retaining a service charge of 16% to 32% of distributed foreign royalty fees, depending on the service and level of participation.


Questions about copyright for authors

  1. What is "copyright"?
    Under the United States Copyright Act found at Title 17 of the U.S. Code, copyright is a form of protection provided by law to the creators of original works of authorship, including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic and certain other intellectual works, granting the author certain exclusive rights.
  2. What are "rights"?
    Under the United States Copyright Act, an author of original materials is granted a package of exclusive rights, the entire package of which is generally referred to as the author's "copyrights." The rights exclusive to copyright holders (rightsholders) include the right to reproduce their works (e.g., photocopies, Web sites postings, etc.), to prepare derivative works, to distribute copies for sale, and to perform the work publicly, as in the case of motion pictures, videos and plays.

    In Copyright Clearance Center's licensing services, a right is the legal entitlement to use a work in the way specified, such as reproduction by photocopy or electronic means.

  3. What are "works"?
    In Copyright Clearance Center's licensing services, a work is a uniquely identifiable unit of copyright-protected material.
  4. Who is considered an "author"?
    Under copyright law, the creator of the original expression in a work is its author. The author retains full ownership of the copyright in a work until there is an agreement by which the author assigns some or all copyright rights in a work to another party, such as a publisher. In cases of works made for hire, the employer is considered to be the original author.
  5. What is a "work made for hire"?
    The general rule of copyright is that the person who creates the work is its author. However, in a situation where the creator is an employee preparing a work within the scope of his or her employment, or where a work is specially ordered or commissioned by another person, then that work is deemed by law to be a work made for hire, and the employer, or commissioning party, is considered by law to be the author.
  6. Do I need to do anything special to obtain a copyright?
    No, a work is protected by copyright the moment it is created and fixed in a tangible form (e.g., when it is written or recorded). The copyright in the work of authorship becomes the property of the author who created the work immediately upon its fixation in tangible form. (In cases of works made for hire, the employer is considered to be the author.)
  7. Do I need to register my copyright?
    Copyright registration is not required, but it is highly recommended. In order to file a lawsuit claiming copyright infringement in the United States, the work must have been registered with the U.S. Copyright Office at the Library of Congress.
  8. Is signing an agreement with Copyright Clearance Center the same as registering the copyright to my work?
    No, signing an agreement only allows rightsholders to participate in our services. Copyright Clearance Center cannot register a copyright. Only the U.S. Copyright Office at the Library of Congress can register a copyright.
  9. Can I copyright my idea; brand name; slogan; title?
    No. Among the categories of material generally not eligible for copyright protection are:

    • Works that have not been fixed in a tangible form of expression (for example, choreographic works that have not been recorded, or improvisational performances that have not been written or recorded);
    • Titles, names, short phrases and slogans; familiar symbols or designs; mere variations of typographic lettering, or coloring; listings of ingredients;
    • Ideas, procedures, methods, systems, processes, concepts, principles, discoveries or devices, as distinguished from a description, explanation, or illustration;
    • Works consisting entirely of information that is common property and containing no original authorship (for example: standard calendars, height and weight charts, tape measures and rulers, and lists or tables taken from public documents).
  10. Do I need a copyright notice to protect my work?
    No, but it is recommended. On March 1, 1989, the United States adopted the Berne Convention and eliminated the requirement that a copyright notice be attached to works. Though no longer required, a copyright notice is beneficial, as it reminds content users that the work is protected by copyright.

    A copyright notice should contain all the following three elements:

    • The symbol © (the letter C in a circle), or the word "Copyright," or the abbreviation "Copr."
    • The year of first publication of the work.
    • The name of the owner of copyright in the work.
      Example: © 2006 John Doe
  11. Does copyright protection extend internationally?
    Although there is no such thing as an "international copyright" that automatically protects a work throughout the world, more than 150 countries have ratified a treaty intended to accomplish many of the benefits of "international copyright." Generally, if a work is protected by copyright in the U.S. it is protected in most countries because the U.S. adheres to the leading copyright convention, the Berne Convention, which is administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).
  12. Can the exclusive rights under copyright be assigned to another party?
    Any or all of the rights encompassed within a copyright may be transferred to another party, but a transfer of exclusive rights is not valid unless that transfer is in writing. Transfer of a right on a nonexclusive basis does not require a written agreement. Copyright may also be conveyed by operation of law (for example, a corporate merger, or as a result of bankruptcy), and may be bequeathed by will or pass as personal property.
  13. What is the "public domain"?
    A work is in the public domain if it is no longer under copyright protection, or if it failed to meet the requirements for copyright protection. Works in the public domain may be used freely without the permission of the former rightsholder.
  14. What is a "standard number"?
    A standard number is a universal identification device. The most common standard numbers for books and serial publications are ISSN, ISBN and LCCN.

    • An ISSN, or International Standard Serial Number, has four numbers, a hyphen and four more characters (example: 4444-000X). ISSNs identify serials (magazines, journals, newsletters, newspapers, etc.).
    • An ISBN, or International Standard Book Number, has 10 or 13 characters and a series of hyphens (example: 0-444-00000-X). (Starting January 1, 2005, the 10-digit ISBN implemented in 1972 was revised to a 13-digit standard number due to unforeseen demand. This new standard has been approved by the International Standards Organization (ISO), and will create an international product identifying standard for books.)
    • An LCCN, or Library of Congress Card Number, also identifies books. An LCCN consists of a two-digit year followed by a hyphen and up to six digits (example: 94-444444).
  15. What is "copyright infringement"?
    Generally, copyright infringement occurs when a copyrighted work is reproduced, distributed, performed, publicly displayed or made into a derivative work without the permission of the copyright owner or without the protection of some privilege granted by law, such as fair use.
  16. Is copyright infringement always criminal?
    No. It can be a criminal violation—with possible fines and prison penalties. But it is most often a civil violation.
  17. How does Copyright Clearance Center educate readers and content users about copyright?
    The Copyright Central section of copyright.com provides tools and resources to help content users gain a better understanding of U.S. copyright law and promote a culture of copyright compliance. In addition, our specially trained staff travel around the country to speak with individuals, businesses, academic institutions and others about copyright.

    Learn more about Beyond the Book, our educational program series connecting authors, publishers and others with experts on the latest business issues facing the information content industry.

    View Copyright Clearance Center's event calendar.

  18. Does Copyright Clearance Center have a copyright compliance program?
    Yes. We support copyright compliance with a wide range of initiatives to help increase copyright awareness, reduce copyright infringement and create a culture of respect for intellectual property.

    View information about our compliance program.

    View more information about Beyond the Book, our educational program series connecting authors, publishers, and others with experts on the latest business issues facing the information content industry.

  19. Where can I get more general information about copyright?
    See the U.S. Copyright Office's Copyright Basics Web page.
  20. Where can I get more information on pending congressional bills regarding copyright law?
    See the U.S. Copyright Office's Copyright Legislation Web page.
Quick Links Customer Service

Phone support:

  Monday – Friday
  8:00am – 6:00pm EST

Email and Live Help support:

  Monday – Friday
  2:00am – 6:00pm EST

For customers with an existing account:

  Pay-Per-Use
  978-646-2600

  Annual License Holders
  978-750-8400

  Rightsholders
  978-646-2800

Phone:
  978-750-8400

E-mail:
  info@copyright.com

Fax:
  978-646-8600