My best friend died last year, and he had given me over decades copies of 2 of his unpublished literary works. I have one of them in every form of media: hard drive, flash drive, hard copy and disk. Though we hired a firm to make a will, it did not happen before his death. He had no living family. I had power of attorney.
The Public Administrator came to his apartment and took what they wanted. They left behind his 2 works, which I took but already had (with the apartment owners presence and permission) before the haulers were there to trash all of his stuff.
I notice just now that my friend did NOT place on one of the manuscripts (the printed hard copy) a copyright
. I'm sure then that he did not put it anywhere else, because the hard copy comes as close to publication as it can. What it only has is his first 2 initials and his last name on the front page.
Am I correct to believe that this is NOT copyrighted, and that I do NOT need to establish ownership. The issue for me is that not having a will, I do not want the royalties
to go to probate court.
[His second book is less important to me right now, but on the inside cover sheet he put a simple copyright.) The more important book which I plan to get published at one of the top scale university presses has no copyright on it. I am drafting a proposal for publication of this work.
Thanking you in advance for any assistance you can provide.