1110.6 When May an Application for a Group Registration Be Filed?
An applicant may register all the contributions created by the same individual and published within a twelve-month period, provided that he or she complies with the requirements set forth in 37 C.F.R. § 202.4 and the other relevant regulations described in Sections 1110.2 through 1110.5.
That said, the U.S. Copyright Office encourages applicants to submit their claims on a quarterly basis (i.e., every three months), instead of submitting them on an annual or semi-annual basis. A contribution to a periodical must be registered in a timely manner to seek statutory damages and attorney’s fees in an infringement action. Specifically, an author may seek these remedies if the contribution was registered (I) before the infringement began, or (ii) within three months after the first publication of that work. See 17 U.S.C. § 412.
To secure these benefits, applicants should submit their claims within three months after the date of publication for the earliest contribution in the group. By doing so, authors will preserve their ability to seek statutory damages and attorney’s fees for any infringements that may occur after the effective date of registration, as well as any infringements that may occur within three months after the publication of each work in the group.
For example, if the first contribution was published on June 1, 2017, and the last contribution was published on September 1, 2017, it would be advisable to submit a complete application, deposit, and filing fee on or before September 1, 2017. By doing so, the author will preserve his or her ability to seek these remedies for any infringements that began after the effective date of registration (i.e., after September 1, 2017), as well as any infringements that began within three months after the date of publication for each contribution in the group.
See Group Registration of Contributions to Periodicals, 81 Fed. Reg. 86,634, 86,639 (Dec. 1, 2016).