1009.3 Year of Completion
The applicant must identify the year that the author completed the website or website content that the applicant intends to register. The applicant should only provide a year of completion for the specific version that will be submitted for registration. The applicant should not provide a year of completion for any other version that will not be submitted to the Office.
When completing an online application, the applicant should provide the year of completion on the Publication/Creation screen; when completing a paper application the applicant should provide this information in space 3 (A). For guidance in completing this portion of the application, see Chapter 600, Section 611.
The year of completion may vary depending on the type of content that the applicant intends to register. If the content is a discrete work contained on a website, the year of completion is typically the year that the author completed that work in its final form. If the applicant intends to register multiple works that were created over a period of more than one year, the applicant may provide the year of completion for the most recent work that will be submitted for registration.
If the applicant intends to register the collective authorship in the website as a whole, the year of completion may vary depending on whether the website is published or unpublished. If the website has been published, the year of completion must precede or be the same as the date of first publication for the specific content that is claimed in the application. If the website is deemed unpublished (i.e., a site that is authorized only for public display or public performance), the Office will accept any year of completion that precedes the date that the application was submitted.
If the applicant intends to register content that is frequently revised or updated, such as a news website or blog, the applicant should provide the year of completion for the content that is reflected in the deposit copy(ies) (i.e., the most recent year that is reflected in the deposit material). If the applicant provides a year of completion for an earlier version of the website, but does not submit a deposit containing that version, or provides a year of completion for any other content that is not contained in the deposit copy(ies), the registration specialist may communicate with the applicant, which will delay the examination of the claim.
• Precious & Paulie LLC operates a website that features cat videos. The company submits an application to register the entire content of this site. The application states that the work was completed in 2014, but the deposit material contains a statement that reads “last updated 2012.” The registration specialist will communicate with the applicant to verify the year of completion.