Q:

Does the ISBN convey any form of legal copyright protection?

A:

Quick Answer

An International Standard Book Number, or ISBN, does not provide copyright protection. Rather, an ISBN is a unique 13-digit number universally used to identify books for marketing purposes for international book trade. Copyright protection is administered by the Library of Congress.

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Does the ISBN convey any form of legal copyright protection?
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Full Answer

ISBNs are assigned for a price by private companies at the request of a publisher, and each publisher is issued a unique publisher prefix, or "root." When printed, the 13 digits of an ISBN are preceded by the letters ISBN. The exclusive ISBN-issuing agent in the United States is R.R. Bowker, which issued approximately 2.35 million ISBNs in 2012. A book's bar code is a visual representation of the ISBN.

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