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1009.6 (A) Acceptable Terminology for an Application to Register a Website or Website Content

1009.6 (A) Acceptable Terminology for an Application to Register a Website or Website Content


As a general rule, the following terms may be used to describe the copyrightable content on a website, provided that they accurately describe the authorship that appears in the deposit copy(ies). In most cases, the Office will accept combinations or variant forms of these terms, unless they are contradicted by information provided in the deposit copy(ies) or elsewhere in the registration materials.


Literary content:

• Text


Visual arts content:

• Artwork or 2-D artwork

• Photographs

• Drawings

• Technical drawings

• Map

• Architectural work


Performing arts content:

• Music

• Lyrics

• Script

• Choreographic work

• Pantomime

Recorded sounds:

• Sound recording

Audiovisual content:

• Audiovisual work

• Motion picture


For a definition and discussion of these terms, see Chapter 600, Section 618.4 (C).


To register a computer program or a database that is contained or embedded within a website, the applicant should follow the instructions set forth in Chapter 700, Sections 721.9 (F) and 727.3 (D).


To register a derivative work, the applicant should describe the new material that the author contributed to the website using appropriate terms, such as “new photographs,” “updated text,” “revised artwork,” “additional music,” or the like.


If the applicant intends to register the authorship involved in selecting, coordinating, and/or arranging the content that appears on a website, the applicant may use any of the terms listed below, provided that they accurately describe the copyrightable authorship that appears in the deposit copy(ies). In most cases, the Office will accept combinations or variant forms of these terms, unless they are contradicted by information provided in the deposit copy(ies) or elsewhere in the registration materials.


• Compilation of [specify material that has been selected, coordinated, and/or arranged, e.g., “compilation of text and artwork”].


• Selection, coordination, and/or arrangement of [specify material that has been selected, coordinated, and/or arranged, e.g. “selection and arrangement of text and photographs”].


For additional guidance in registering compilation authorship, see Chapter 600, Section 618.6.


NOTE: Websites often contain previously published material, previously registered material, public domain material, or material owned by a third party. If the deposit copy(ies) contain an appreciable amount of unclaimable material, then as discussed in Section 1009.8 the applicant should exclude that material from the claim. For information concerning this procedure, see Section 1009.8.

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