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

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1509.3 Visual Arts Works


1509.3 Visual Arts Works


The U.S. Copyright Office uses the term “visual arts works” to refer collectively to the following types of works:


• Fine art.


• Graphic art.


• Photographs.


• Prints.


• Art reproductions.


• Maps and globes.


• Charts and diagrams.


• Technical drawings, including architectural plans.


• Models.


• Works of artistic craftsmanship.


• Applied art.


• Architectural works.


To register a work that was first published in the United States on or after January 1, 1978, the applicant generally should submit two complete copies of the best edition of that work. See 37 C.F.R. § 202.20 (C) (1)(iii).


As discussed in Section 1504.2, the criteria used to identify the best edition for a visual arts work are listed in the Best Edition Statement, which is set forth in Appendix B to Part 202 of the Office’s regulations. It is also posted on the Office’s website in Best Edition of Published Copyrighted Works for the Collections of the Library of Congress (Circular 7b).


To register a work published in both electronic and hard copy formats, the applicant generally should submit complete two copies of the work in the hard copy format. If the work was published solely in electronic format, the applicant may submit digital file(s) containing complete copy(ies) of the work, provided that the requirements set forth in Section 1507.2 have been met.


There are exceptions to these rules for certain types of visual arts works. The deposit requirements for these types of works are discussed in Sections 1509.3 (A) through 1509.3 (D). The deposit requirements for foreign visual arts works are discussed in Section 1509.3 (E). Section 1509.3 (F) contains a series of charts that summarize the deposit requirements for these types of works. For detailed information on the copyrightability and registration of visual arts works, see Chapter 900.


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