Compendium of U.S. Copyright Practices, 3rd Edition

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1003.3 Copyrightable Content Contained in or Added to a Website

1003.3 Copyrightable Content Contained in or Added to a Website

Websites often contain contributions that constitute separate and independent works in themselves, such as text, photographs, videos, sound recordings, and the like. In such cases, the website is typically a form of collective work in which a number of component works are selected, coordinated, and/or arranged into a collective whole, while the components works typically are contributions to the collective work.

The creator of the website may be the author and owner of the website as a whole, while another party or parties may be the author(s) and owner(s) of particular works contained within the site. In many cases, multiple applications may be required to register the copyright in all the works contained within a website, unless there has been a valid transfer of ownership for the copyright interest in each of the component works (assuming those works were not previously published or registered).

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