1402.1 Statutory Basis for the Application
Section 408 (A) of the Copyright Act provides that a copyright owner or the owner of any of the exclusive rights in a work may seek a registration by delivering an application, filing fee, and an appropriate deposit to the U.S. Copyright Office. The Copyright Act gives the Register of Copyrights the authority to establish administrative classes of works for registration, to create application forms, and to specify the information that should be included in the application. See 17 U.S.C. §§ 408 (A), 408 (C) (1), 409, 702.
Pursuant to this authority, the U.S. Copyright Office has created five administrative classes for purposes of registration, namely, nondramatic literary works (Class TX), works of the visual arts (Class VA), works of the performing arts (Class PA), sound recordings (Class SR), and serials (Class SE). The Office has created different versions of its online application and paper applications for each class of works. Registration is administered by the Office’s Registration Program, which includes three divisions: Literary, Performing Arts, and Visual Arts. Applications are assigned to one of these divisions, depending on the classification of the work.
NOTE: The administrative classes are solely for administrative purposes, and they have no bearing on the substantive subject matter of copyright or the exclusive rights provided by the copyright law. See 17 U.S.C. § 408 (C) (1).
Applicants should use the form that is most appropriate for the type of work being registered. If the work contains more than one type of authorship, applicants should use the form that corresponds to the predominant type of copyrightable authorship in that work. For example, if the claim involves a children’s book that includes both text and illustrations, the applicant should use the application that corresponds to the predominant form of authorship in the book. If the book contains only a few illustrations, the applicant should use the appropriate application for a Literary Work. If the book mostly contains illustrations with a small amount of text, the applicant should use the appropriate application for a Work of the Visual Arts. If the types of authorship are roughly equal, the applicant may use the application that would be appropriate for either type of authorship. See 37 C.F.R. § 202.3 (B) (2)(iii).
NOTE: When registering a sound recording, the applicant must use the appropriate application for sound recording authorship, regardless of whether the sound recording is the predominant form of authorship in the work. See id.