Copyright records serve a variety of information needs from finding the current owner of a work to a survey of cultural development in the United States. Users of the records approach them in different ways depending on their particular need at the moment. Similarly, there are different approaches to how we can make the currently non-digital Copyright records available online. The general notion right now is to create a data record with enough information to allow title, name, and assigned number searching with links to images of the respective paper records including the catalog cards, applications, transfer and assignment records, and other related items. But I’d like to hear from those who have interest in these records and get your thoughts on how you would search the records and how you would like to see the records displayed. And it’s okay to refer to other websites as models. We’re not trying to reinvent wheels that have already proven to be effective.
The following is a list of the search terms that one might include in a search of Copyright records. Are there others?
- Name (author/claimant)
- Name (assignor/party 1)
- Name (assignee/party 2)
- Type of record (Registration or transfer/assignment)
- Registration number
- Document number (for transfers and assignments)
- Date or date range (effective date of registration, date of recordation, date of execution)
How would you prefer for the search results to be generated? One option is a sortable list of records based on keywords found in specific fields or in any field in a record. An alternative is a list of all records containing words in the search argument occurring anywhere in a record with the functionality to filter the results by facets reflective of the search terms above. Would either suit your needs better or is there another alternative that might provide more useful results?
What we can eventually provide will be determined by cost and what the Copyright Office can afford. Nevertheless, we want to know your thoughts so whatever is built comes as close as possible to your needs. Your input is important and most welcome.