Copyright Compendium

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1803 New Application for a New Basic Registration

 

1803 New Application for a New Basic Registration

 

This Section discusses the practices and procedures for correcting or amplifying the information in a basic registration by filing a new application for a new basic registration.

 

As a general rule, the U.S. Copyright Office will issue only one basic registration to the same claimant for the same work, and a supplementary registration is the preferred method for correcting or amplifying the information in a basic registration. See Applications for Registration of Claim to Copyright under Revised Copyright Act, 42 Fed. Reg. 48,944, 48,945 (Sept. 26, 1977).

 

As discussed in Section 1802.7, there are some cases where a supplementary registration cannot be used to correct or amplify the information in a basic registration. In those cases, a new application for a new basic registration may be used to correct an error or omission in a basic registration, instead of filing an application for a supplementary registration.

 

• Claimant issues: If the Office issued a basic registration that correctly identifies an individual as the author of the work, and names a different individual or legal entity as the copyright claimant, the author may file a separate application naming himself or herself as the copyright claimant for that work. See 37 C.F.R. § 202.3 (B) (11)(ii).

 

• Publication issues: Basic registration for an unpublished work that is subsequently published. If the Office issued a basic registration for an unpublished work that was published sometime thereafter, the date of publication cannot be added with a supplementary registration. Instead, the applicant may provide the date of publication by submitting a new application for a new basic registration to register the first published edition of the work (even if the published version “is substantially the same as the unpublished version”). 17 U.S.C. § 408 (E); 37 C.F.R. § 202.3 (B) (11) (I).

 

• Publication issues: Published work registered as an unpublished work. If the applicant incorrectly stated that the work was unpublished, when in fact, the work was published, the date of publication may be added with a supplementary registration, but only if the deposit requirement for the published work and the unpublished work are the same. If the deposit requirements are different, the applicant cannot correct this error with a supplementary registration. Instead, the applicant must submit a new application for a new basic registration, together with the proper filing fee and deposit copies for the published edition of the work.

 

• Derivative work issues: If a work has been changed or revised since it was registered, the changes or revisions cannot be added to the registration record with a supplementary registration. Likewise, the Office will not issue a supplementary registration for an entirely new work that has not been registered before (even if it is based on a previously registered work). In such cases, the applicant should submit a new application for a basic registration together with the proper filing fee and deposit copy(ies) for the derivative work.

 

• Adverse claims: If the applicant contends that the basic registration is invalid because it was filed by or on behalf of a party who was not authorized to register the copyright or names the wrong author(s) and/or claimant(s), the applicant should assert an adverse claim. Specifically, the applicant should file a competing application providing the name(s) of the party(ies) who should have been named as the correct author(s) and/or copyright claimant(s). See 37 C.F.R. § 202.3 (B) (11)(iii). For information concerning this procedure, see Section 1808.

 

Ordinarily, the registration number and year of registration for the previous registration should be provided in an application for a new basic registration. Specifically, the applicant should provide this information in the Previous Registration field (in the case of an online application) or on space 5 (in the case of a paper application). But if an applicant intends to assert an adverse claim, the applicant should not provide the registration number for the other registration in the Previous Registration field/space. Instead, the applicant should provide a brief statement in the Note to Copyright Office field or in a cover letter indicating that the exact same work has been registered by another party. The registration specialist may add a note to the certificate of registration and the online public record indicating the presence of correspondence in the file or may add a note clarifying that the applicant has asserted an adverse claim.

 

Examples:

 

• Dennis Lockhart and Betty Patton co-wrote a ballad titled “Forever Apart.” The Office issued a basic registration naming Dennis and Betty as the co-authors and Dennis as the sole copyright claimant. Dennis may add Betty’s name to the Name of Claimant field with a supplementary registration. In the alternative, Betty may file a new application for a new basic registration naming herself as the copyright claimant for this work if the work is jointly owned.

 

• Eliza Kuralt registered a bird watching guide as an unpublished work. Two days later, Eliza began selling copies of her guide over the internet. The date of publication cannot be added to the basic registration with a supplementary registration. Eliza may add the date of publication to the registration record by submitting a new application for a new basic registration together with two copies of the first published edition of her guide, even if the published version is substantially the same as the unpublished version.

 

• Matt Bernaski registered a computer program and mistakenly claimed that the work had not been published before. In fact, Matt distributed the program on a CD-ROM two days before he submitted his application to the Office. The date of publication cannot be added to the basic registration with a supplementary registration, because the deposit requirement for an unpublished program is not the same as the deposit requirement for a program published on a CD-ROM. However, Matt may file a new application for the published version of this work. To do so, Matt should submit a sample of the source code for his program together with one copy of the complete CD-ROM package. Matt should provide the registration number and year of registration for the previous registration in the Previous Registration field. In addition, he should provide the following statement in the New Material Included field (in the case of an online application) or on space 6 (B) (in the case of a paper application): “This registration is made to correct a registration that was incorrectly made as unpublished.” If appropriate, the Office may cancel the previous registration and issue a new basic registration for the work.

 

• Tracy Monaghan registered a genealogy that traces the history of the Monaghan family. Tracy subsequently updated and revised the genealogy after she discovered diaries, photographs, and other information about a distant member of the family. The updates and revisions cannot be added to the basic registration with a supplementary registration. However, Tracey may file a new application for a new basic registration if the updates and revisions contain a sufficient amount of copyrightable authorship to qualify as a derivative work.

 

A new application for a new basic registration may be filed at any time during the life of the copyright and the application may be submitted by any of the parties listed in Chapter 400, Section 402.

 

If the application for the new basic registration is approved, the Office will issue a certificate of registration and will create a public record for that registration. But the Office will not cancel the previous registration or the registration number that has been assigned to that registration, it will not change the information set forth in the previous registration or the public record for that registration, and it will not cross-reference those records with the records for the new basic registration. Instead, the previous registration and the new basic registration will coexist with each other in the public record.