Starting in 2013, authors can reclaim copyrights they transferred in 1978 (e.g. through an agreement with a publisher). Copyright law permits authors to reclaim their copyrights 35 years after transferring rights for purposes of publication. Authors interested in reclaiming copyright need to file a notice in advance, according to a designated timetable.
Reclaiming copyright allows the author to make new publishing arrangements, including making the work openly available on the web.
To evaluate whether you can reclaim a copyright, or to initiate the required notice to the Copyright Office, use a form developed by Creative Commons.
For more information: