Copyright Compendium

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Chapter 2400

1504.3 Applicant Makes the Determination

1504.3 Applicant Makes the Determination


As a general rule, the applicant – ” not the U.S. Copyright Office – ” should determine whether the work is subject to the best edition requirement for purposes of registration. This determination should be based on the facts that exist at the time when the claim is filed with the Office.


The registration specialist will not ordinarily conduct independent research to determine whether a particular work is subject to the best edition requirement, whether the applicant submitted the best edition of that work, or whether a different edition may be required. In most cases, the specialist will accept the applicant’s determination, unless it is contradicted by information provided in the deposit itself or elsewhere in the registration materials. The Office leaves it to a court to determine whether a failure to comply with the best edition requirement was a knowing misrepresentation.


If the work was published solely in a format that is not listed in the Best Edition Statement, the applicant may seek further guidance concerning the deposit requirements for registration by submitting a written request to the Office of Registration Policy & Practice. The Office will provide the applicant with general information about the provisions of the Copyright Act, including the statutory definition of “best edition,” and will explain the regulatory requirements for registering that type of work.