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

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1807.1 What Is Cancellation?


1807.1 What Is Cancellation?


Cancellation is a procedure for invalidating a registration that has been issued by the U.S. Copyright Office.


The Register of Copyrights has the authority to cancel a registration if “the material deposited does not constitute copyrightable subject matter” or if “the claim is invalid for any other reason.” 17 U.S.C. § 410 (B); see also Sections 1807.4 (B) through 1807.4 (D).


Likewise, the Register has the authority to cancel a registration if the registration was made in error or if the registration was issued in the wrong class or series. See Section 1807.4 (A).


“The Office views cancellation of invalid claims as a necessary measure to ensure the integrity of the copyright registration system and to ensure consistent application of its regulations and practices.” Cancellation of Completed Registrations, 50 Fed. Reg. 40,833, 40,834 (Oct. 7, 1985). “Without cancellation procedures, a copyright registration could be given prima facie effect in federal court where the Copyright Office knew the registration to be invalid under its regulations or practices. This would place an unfair burden on the public and on defendants in copyright litigation to overcome the strong presumption of validity that the courts have generally accorded copyright registrations.” Id.


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