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

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1509.1 (F) (5) Computer Programs Fixed in a CD-ROM

1509.1 (F) (5) Computer Programs Fixed in a CD-ROM

“[A] CD-ROM package, whenever available, is the preferred form of deposit for the works embodied therein, both for registration and mandatory deposit.” Registration of Claims to Copyright: Deposit of CD-ROM Format, 56 Fed. Reg. 47,402 (Sept. 19, 1991).

If a computer program has been fixed in a CD-ROM, the applicant must submit “one complete copy of the entire CD-ROM package, including a complete copy of any accompanying operating software and instructional manual” for the program. 37 C.F.R. § 202.20 (C) (2)(xix) (A). In addition, the applicant should submit a portion of the source code for the specific version of the program that the applicant intends to register, using the options discussed in Section 1509.1 (F) (1) through 1509.1 (F) (4).

CD-ROMs typically contain a copy of the source code for the computer program that has been converted or compiled into object code. If the applicant fails to submit identifying material a member of the Registration Program will ask the applicant to submit a file or printout containing an appropriate portion of the code. Id. § 202.20 (C) (2)(xix) (B). The requirements for the submission of source code are discussed in Sections 1509.1 (F) (1) through 1509.1 (F) (4) above.

See generally Registration of Claims to Copyright; Mandatory Deposit of Machine- Readable Copies, 54 Fed. Reg. 42,295, 42,298 (Oct. 16, 1989) (“The Examining Division is required to examine for copyrightable authorship. Machine-readable copies are generally unsuitable for this task.”).

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