Good news for American writers: You can still file an electronic copyright request during the government shutdown!
Do you have questions about what can and cannot be used in a book, such as song titles, how much of a song lyric, titles of other books, etc?
Here's a Copyright FAQ published by the US Copyright Office. And below I've put together a table of contents so you can find the answers to your questions more quickly.
- What is Copyright?
- Who can claim copyright?
- Copyright and national origin of the work
- What works are protected?
- What is not protected (what you can use, such as titles, etc)
- How to secure a copyright
- Definition of Publication
- Notice of copyright (Do you need to add one? Where should you put it if you add one? etc)
- How long copyright protection endures
- Transfer of copyright
- International copyright protection
- Copyright registration
- Registration procedures
- Effective date of registration
- Corrections and amplifications of existing registrations
- Mandatory deposit for works published in the United States (copies for the Library of Congress, not fees)
- Use of mandatory deposit to satisfy registration requirements
- Who may file an application form?
- Fees (rates not actually included as they may change--describes how to pay)
- Search of copyright office records
- For further information (includes contact info)
If you're e-filing, the current rate for manuscripts is $35. You can e-file at the US Copyright Office site. (There are tutorials. To actually file, click on the icon with text saying "Electronic Copyright Office")