Copyright laws protect artistic works, such as stories, songs and movies. Although an author of a work doesn't have to register a copyright with the U.S. Copyright Office for legal protection, many do because registration makes the protection easier to enforce. If you need the address of a copyright holder, you can find the information on the copyright registration paperwork. You can't use a copyrighted work without express permission from the copyright holder.
Visit the official website of the U.S. Copyright Office. Use the online search to locate records for copyrights registered after 1977. You may search using various identifying words and phrases from the copyrighted work, such as a title or artist's name. The filed copyright ownership papers should show the address of the current holder.
Contact the U.S. Copyright Office at 202-707-6850 to request a search for records of copyrights registered before 1978. You may call during the week from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Eastern time. Fees vary by length of search.
Check international copyright databases if you're unable to find the copyright registered in the United States. Visit the official website of the U.S. Copyright Office to view a list of international databases and databases for other countries, such as Canada.
Review documentation and other information, such as webpage registration, of the work if you can't locate copyright records. A playbill, for example, may give you information about the play's author, including his current location.