VII. How do I figure out if something is copyright protected or public domain?
- If you live in or near Washington DC or plan to visit DC, then we suggest you head over to the Copyright Office yourself – it is open to the public and anyone can do a search for free during normal business hours.
- Consider hiring a private search company. They are cheaper than the option below and provide the same results. We have seen rates as low as $75 per hour.
- Finally, consider contacting the Copyright Office and having them do the research for you. Although this can be expensive (about $165 per hour with a two hour minimum), you may rest assure that their answer will be the correct one and you will be able to rely on their answer for your project.