The Copyright Office has launched an interactive Website aimed at middle-school children. The goal of “Taking the Mystery Out of Copyright” is to explain U.S. copyright law. Although it is intended for young people it will also help new writers (or confused writers) better understand copyright and how it applies to them. Go to: www.copyright.gov, and click on “Taking the Mystery Out of Copyright.”
Another change at the Copyright Office has to do with the cost of a basic registration online. Previously they charged $45 for each registration submitted by mail, but now charge only $35 if you register online. For additional information, go to: www.copyright.gov/fedreg/2007/72fr33690.html, and to: www.copyright.gov/eco/beta-announce.html.
One more important change at the Copyright Office is the launch of a new records search system. If you need to find out the copyright status or history of a certain title, this powerful new system will give you access to 20 million digital records. It will allow you to search by title, name, keyword, and registration or document number. This should also be a big help in finding competing titles when you are writing a new book. For a tutorial on searching the new system, go to: www.copyright.gov/records.