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

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1111.3 (A) All of the Works Must Be Short Online Literary Works

1111.3 (A) All of the Works Must Be Short Online Literary Works

Each work in the group must be a “short online literary work” and the claim must be limited to the “text” that appears in each work. When the application is submitted, the term “text” will be added automatically by the electronic registration system.

The following types of works cannot be registered with this option:

• Photographs, artwork, illustrations, logos, or other types of pictorial, graphic, or sculptural works.

• Musical works or sound recordings.

• Motion pictures or audiovisual works.

• Dramatic works, choreographic works, or pantomimes.

The U.S. Copyright Office will accept digital files that contain text combined with another form of authorship. But claims in any accompanying “artwork,” “photograph,” or any form of authorship other than “text” will not be permitted on the application and may not be added during the examination process or with a supplementary registration.

Likewise, the Office will not accept claims in the selection, coordination, or arrangement of the group as a whole. 37 C.F.R. § 202.4(j) (1).

If an applicant uploads files that contain text and a separate group of files that contain photographs, graphic designs, videos, or any other work that is not a “short online literary work,” the registration specialist will refuse to register the entire claim.

Likewise, the specialist may refuse registration if the application names an author who did not write any of the text that appears in the works, such as an illustrator, photographer, or other individual who merely added pictorial or graphic content to the works.

See Group Registration of Short Online Literary Works, 85 Fed. Reg. 37,341, 37,344 (June 22, 2020); Group Registration of Short Online Literary Works, 83 Fed. Reg. 65,612, 65,613 (Dec. 21, 2018).

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