Copyright Compendium

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1503.2 Refusal to Register

1503.2 Refusal to Register


If the U.S. Copyright Office determines that the applicant failed to comply with the deposit requirements for a particular work, the registration specialist may communicate with the applicant or may refuse to register the claim. 17 U.S.C. § 410 (B). The following are examples of situations where the Office may refuse to register a claim for failure to comply with the deposit requirement:


• The applicant failed to submit a copy or phonorecord of the work. 17 U.S.C. § 408 (A).


• The applicant failed to submit a complete copy or phonorecord of the work. Id. § 408 (B), 37 C.F.R. § 202.20 (C) (1) (I)-(iv).


• The applicant failed to submit two copies or phonorecords of the best edition of a work published in the United States. 17 U.S.C. § 408 (B) (2).


• The applicant failed to submit a bona fide copy of the work.


• The applicant failed to submit the required identifying material that is sufficient to show the authorship claimed in the application. 37 C.F.R. § 202.20 (C) (2)(iv), (vii)- (xiv).


• The applicant failed to submit the work in an acceptable format.


• The applicant submitted the work in a form that cannot be examined by the Office.


The applicant must submit a bona fide copy of the work, regardless of whether the deposit consists of a complete copy, a complete phonorecord, or identifying material. For purposes of registration, a bona fide copy is a copy or phonorecord (I) that is virtually identical to the original copy or phonorecord of the work, and (ii) that is made from or by directly referring to the original copy or phonorecord. Torres-Negron v. J&N Records, LLC, 504 F.3d 151, 157 (1st Cir. 2007), abrogated on other grounds by Reed Elsevier, Inc. v. Muchnick, 559 U.S. 154 (2010); Kodadek v. MTV Networks, Inc., 152 F.3d 1209, 1211-12 (9th Cir. 1998).