The rules for copyright renewal vary depending on when the work was originally copyrighted. The major works currently, the copyright must have been renewed in order to continue to have copyright protection.
If you choose to register your copyright renewal, there are a few facts that will be helpful to know. First, there are only certain people who can claim copyright renewal: the author or, if the author is dead, the surviving spouse and/or the author's children. In the event that the deceased author leaves no spouse or children, the executor of the author's will can claim copyright renewal, and if there is no will, the author's next of kin can make the renewal claim.