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

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1509.1 (E) Games


1509.1 (E) Games


A game may be registered as a literary work if the predominant form of authorship in the work consists of text. Examples of works that may satisfy this requirement include word games, card games, party games, riddles, brain teasers, and similar diversions, including the instructions or directions for playing a particular game.


The deposit requirement for a game varies, depending on whether the literary work is reproduced in a two-dimensional or three-dimensional object.


• To register a two-dimensional game, the applicant should submit one complete copy if the game is unpublished. If the game has been published, the applicant should submit one complete copy of the best edition.


• If the game is reproduced in or on a three-dimensional object, the applicant generally should submit identifying material containing all the copyrightable authorship claimed in the application, regardless of whether the game is published or unpublished. However, if the game consists of multiple parts that are packaged and published in a box or similar container that is larger than 12 by 24 by 6 inches, the applicant may submit one complete copy of the best edition in lieu of identifying material.


See 37 C.F.R. § 202.20 (C) (1) (I) (requiring one complete copy for an unpublished work), (C) (2) (I)(J) (requiring one complete copy of works published in the form of two- dimensional games), (C) (2)(xi) (A) (1) (permitting identifying material for three- dimensional sculptural works), (C) (2)(xi) (B) (3) (exception to rule requiring identifying material for three-dimensional games published in a container of a designated size), (C) (2) (I) (G) (one complete copy required for works subject to the exception set forth in § 202.20 (C) (2)(xi) (B)); see also Part 202–Registration of Claims to Copyright, Deposit Requirements, 43 Fed. Reg. 41,975, 41,976 (Sept. 19, 1978) (explaining that only one copy is required for works consisting of multiple parts that include three or more three dimensional, physically separable parts, such as board games, models kits, and certain kinds of craft kits).


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