How do I find out who owns the copyright for the author I am researching?

Several online resources can be useful in finding the current copyright holder of a work:

  • The WATCH File (Writers, Artists, and Their Copyright Holders) maintained by the Harry Ransom Center and the University of Reading is a database of copyright contacts for writers, artists, and prominent figures in other creative fields.
  • Artists Rights Society is a copyright, licensing and monitoring organization for visual artists in the United States.
  • DACS is a visual artists’ rights management organization in the United Kingdom.‚Äč
  • The ADAGP is a French collective which monitors copyright in the visual arts.
  • ASCAP and BMI are performing rights organizations which license and collect royalties for musical works.