Copyright Compendium

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1009.1 Type of Work

 

1009.1 Type of Work

 

Many websites contain multiple forms of authorship, including text, images, artwork, musical works, sound recordings, videogames, computer programs, audiovisual works, among other types of works. Identifying the type of work that will be submitted to the U.S. Copyright Office is the first step in completing an application.

 

The Register of Copyrights has prescribed six classes of works that may be registered with the Office. The applicant should select the class of work that is most appropriate for the type of content that the applicant intends to register. When completing an online application, the applicant should select the appropriate class from the drop down menu marked Type of Work. When completing a paper application, the applicant should use the form that has been designated for the type of content that appears in the work.

 

• Literary Works: When completing an online application, the applicant should select “Literary Work” if the content primarily contains nondramatic text, such as articles, blog entries, or the like, or if the content primary consists of computer programs, databases, compilations of information, or other works that are expressed in numbers or other verbal or numerical symbols or indicia.

 

• Works of the Visual Arts: When completing an online application, the applicant should select “Work of the Visual Arts” if the content primarily contains or consists of pictorial or graphic material, such as artwork, images, drawings, illustrations, photographs, or the like. When completing a paper application, the applicant should use Form VA.

 

• Works of the Performing Arts: When completing an online application, the applicant should select “Work of the Performing Arts” if the content primarily contains or consists of music, lyrics, scripts, choreography, or other works that are intended to be performed for an audience. When completing a paper application, the applicant should use Form PA.

 

• Sound Recordings: When completing an online application, the applicant must select “Sound Recording” if the content contains or consists of recorded sound, even if the work also contains other types of authorship, such as music or lyrics. When completing a paper application, the applicant must use Form SR.

 

NOTE: There is a limited exception to this rule. If the content consists of sounds accompanying a motion picture or other audiovisual work, the applicant should select “motion picture / audiovisual material” or should use Form PA.

 

• Motion Picture / Audiovisual Material: When completing an online application, the applicant should select “Motion Picture / AV Work” if the content primarily contains or consists of motion pictures or other audiovisual works. When completing a paper application, the applicant should use Form PA.

 

• Single Serial Issue: When completing an online application, the applicant should select “Single Serial Issue” if the content consists of a single issue of a serial publication, such as a newsletter that is published and distributed online or via email as a self-contained, downloadable work. When completing a paper application, the applicant should use Form SE.

 

If the content contains more than one type of authorship, the applicant should select the option that is appropriate for the predominant form of authorship that appears in the deposit copy(ies) or phonorecord(s). For example, the applicant should select “literary work” to register a blog that mostly consists of text, even if the blog contains some images that accompany the text. By contrast, the applicant should select “work of the visual arts” to register a library of photographs or a website that primarily consists of clip art.

 

For additional guidance in selecting the appropriate type of work, see Chapter 600, Section 609.2.