The WATCH project (Writers Artists & Their Copyright Holders) was founded in 1994 as a joint initiative of the Universities of Reading and Texas. Originally a “gopher” file, it became a website in 1996. Its home page address has changed over the years, but it can always be found under the alias www.watch-file.com.
1. On the WATCH web-pages can be found a brief essay first written in 1998 entitled Locating UK copyright holders.
The first publication announcing the launch of WATCH was published in 1994:
2. Cathy Henderson and David Sutton: ‘Writers and Their Copyright Holders: the WATCH project’. Dictionary of literary biography yearbook 1994. Detroit: Gale, 1995, pp. 176-178.
This was followed by an article in Managing information in 1995, with exactly the same title:
3. David Sutton: ‘Writers and Their Copyright Holders: the WATCH project’. Managing information 2 (4) (April 1995), pp. 36-37.
and essays for The Author in 1996:
4. David C. Sutton: ‘WATCH makers: seeking out copyright holders’. The Author (Autumn/Winter 1996), pp. 145-146.
and The Bookseller in 1999:
5. David Sutton: ‘The copyright detectives’. The Bookseller (9 July 1999), pp. 24-26.
After the website began to suffer from old age and malicious hacking, in 1999-2000, the rebuilding process was reported in a number of articles, e.g.
6. David Sutton: ‘The WATCH project’. SCONUL Newsletter 28 (Spring 2003), p. 67.
At the Society of American Archivists conference in Denver in 2000, a first paper was given on international aspects of copyright (not reproduced here, because superseded). This led to an invitation to give an expanded version of the paper at the Congress of the International Council on Archives in Vienna, 2004:
7. David Sutton: ‘International perspectives on archival copyright: paper given at the Congress of the International Council on Archives, Vienna 2004.
This in turn led to an invitation to present on the same subject at the Annual Meeting of the Greek Society of Archivists. This provided the opportunity to rework the paper, and eliminate two errors about US copyright law. Although the Vienna paper is more often cited, the Athens paper is a better account.
8. David Sutton: ‘Copyright issues in archives: paper given at Αρχεία, Βιβλιοθήκες και Δίκαιο στην κοινωνία της πληροφορίας: annual conference of the Greek Society of Archivists, Athens, February 2006"
With the WATCH file rebuilt and restored, a celebratory article was published in 2005:
9. David Sutton: ‘Keeping WATCH: tracking down copyright holders’. Library & information update 4 (12) (December 2005), pp. 42-43.