Copyright Compendium

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Chapter 2400

1509.1 (F) (2) Derivative Computer Programs

1509.1 (F) (2) Derivative Computer Programs


If the computer program contains an appreciable amount of unclaimable material, the program should be registered as a derivative work. For purposes of registration, unclaimable material includes:


• Previously published material,


• Previously registered material,


• Material that is in the public domain, or


• Copyrightable material that is owned by a third party.


A registration for a derivative computer program covers the new material or revised material that the author contributed to that work, but it does not cover any of the unclaimable material that may appear in the program. See Chapter 700, Section 721.8.


To register a claim in a derivative computer program, the applicant should submit a portion of the source code for the specific version of the program that the applicant intends to register.


• If the new material or revised material appears throughout the entire program, the applicant should submit a copy of the first and last twenty-five pages of the source code for that version.


• If the new material or revised material does not appear in the first and last twenty- five pages of the source code, the applicant should submit any fifty pages of source code that contain new or revised material.


In all cases, the applicant should submit the page of the source code that contains the copyright notice (if any) for the specific version that the applicant intends to register. 37 C.F.R. § 202.20 (C) (2)(vii) (A) (1).