Information: Contacting Authors

The British Copyright Council does not have a database of authors whose works are protected by copyright, nor does it represent individual authors, journalists, poets or their estates.

In the UK, copyright in literary works lasts for the life of the author plus a further 70 years from the end of the year in which the author died. To find out whether an author is still in copyright you first need to know the year in which the author died. Once you have ascertained that the author is in copyright, you should contact organisations representing authors. You may then be able to obtain contact information, or at least ascertain whether a particular author’s works remain in copyright. Organisations representing authors are listed on Useful Literary Organisations sheet.

Alternatively, you could try contacting the publisher of the book or periodical in which the author’s work appears. Organisations representing publishers are also listed on Useful Literary Organisations sheet.

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