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

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1108.2 (A) The Collective Work Requirement


1108.2 (A) The Collective Work Requirement


A newspaper must be a collective work to qualify for the group registration option. 37 C.F.R. § 202.4 (E) (2).


A newspaper will be considered a collective work if it contains “a number of contributions” that constitute “separate and independent works in themselves,” and if the contributions “are assembled into a collective whole” “in such a way that the resulting work as a whole constitutes an original work of authorship.” 17 U.S.C. § 101 (definition of “collective work” and “compilation”).


For example, a newspaper that contains multiple articles, photographs, illustrations, and advertisements could be considered a collective work if those contributions are selected, coordinated, and arranged in a sufficiently creative manner. By contrast, a work that that contains a single article and a single photograph would not be considered a collective work, because it does not contain a sufficient number of contributions. H.R. REP. NO. 94-1476, at 122 (1976), reprinted in 1976 U.S.C.C.A.N. 5659, 5737.


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