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Writing Books/Copyright form TX


Hello Sandy.

I've a problem with item #6 ("Derivative work or Compilation") on the copyright Office's Form TX--and the office is proving impossible (OY!) to get through to.

Perhaps you can help me. I've read the "SPACE 6" twenty times, but it still comes out to me the same way, which doesn't seem right. Apparently, merely quoting another work (even a small quote) makes my non-fiction book a "compilation work" requiring the other work to be listed on the form.  My book, however (on Mary Shelley and the French Revolution -140,000 words)contains--as you might imagine--HUNDREDS of quotations and excerpts, from perhaps a hundred sources.  Even if I were to use the Copyright Offices' Contiuation sheet, I would have to use five or six of these, to, basically list my entire bibliography.

Surely this can't be correct. Can this be what they want--when the space on the form is only about a half-inch?

The way I understand a compilation work is that which is similar to an anthology.  

Dan O'Hanlon  

Hi Dan,
Thanks for the interesting question. Sorry I took so long to get back to you, but I am travelling in Morocco at the moment.

Firstly I would need to know which country you are in as the laws vary a fair bit. Usually it is a principal that a non-fiction book that quotes other sources simply lists the sources at the end of the book. Most people who wish to avoid this, give the source in the body of the text, so that the attribution is clear.

My advice would be to talk to your agent or publisher to see what options are open to you. Certainly I would not be filling out forms - something I have never heard of a writer being required to do before.

I would be interested in hearing the outcome. My email is

All the best with what sounds like a fascinating subject.



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Sandy McCutcheon


Author of 22 plays, 12 bestselling thrillers, a memoir and children's fiction.I can work with people on the process of writing, what to expect and ask for from an editor. How to work with the publisher`s marketing and publicity people. And how to survive book launches and publicity tours!


Published author of 22 plays, 12 bestselling thrillers, a young adult and three non-fiction titles. Visit his Moroccan blog at for a look at his blogging work.

St Andrews, Helsinki University and other institutions. Adult Educator of the Year Award, Australia

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