Copyright Compendium

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1008.6 (B) Unpublished Website Content

1008.6 (B) Unpublished Website Content


If the applicant determines that the content was placed online solely for the purpose of public display or public performance, the work may be deemed unpublished. If so, the applicant may register all of the copyrightable material that appears on the website as of the date that the application is submitted, provided that the material (I) is reflected in the deposit, (ii) is owned by the claimant named in the application, and (iii) has not been previously published or previously registered with the Office. If the website contains an appreciable amount of previously published, previously registered material, or material that is owned by a third party, the applicant must exclude that material from the claim. If copyrightable material is subsequently added to the website, the applicant may seek a new registration for the new or revised material when the claimant determines that further protection is desirable.


In some cases, it may be possible to register a number of unpublished works with one application using the group registration option described in Chapter 1100, Section 1106. It also may be possible to register a website as an unpublished collective work, provided that the site contains a sufficiently creative selection, coordination, and/or arrangement of content. For a detailed discussion of collective works, see Chapter 500, Section 509.