Copyright Compendium

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1807.4 (A) Registrations Issued in the Wrong Class or Series

 

1807.4 (A) Registrations Issued in the Wrong Class or Series

 

If the U.S. Copyright Office determines that the work was registered in the wrong class or series, it may cancel the initial registration and issue a new registration in the correct class. See 37 C.F.R. § 201.7 (C) (3). This procedure is known as a “cancellation and substitution” or “can-sub.” In most cases the Office will conduct this procedure on its own initiative and without providing advance notice to the claimant or the correspondent named in the registration.

 

When selecting the appropriate class for the new registration, the Office will consider the predominant type of authorship that appears in the work. The applicant’s preferences will not be considered.

 

When the Office issues a cancellation and substitution, it will cancel the initial registration and add a note to the public record to reflect this change. Then it will create a public record for the substitute registration and send a new certificate of registration to the mailing address that the applicant provided in the application for the initial registration.

 

Both the certificate of registration and the online public record for the substitute registration will contain the registration number and effective date for that registration. The certificate may also contain a registration decision date. The “registration decision date” is the date that the Office cancelled the initial registration and issued the substitute registration. This date appears on certificates issued on or after August 19, 2019, but it does not appear in the online public record for such claims.

 

The “effective date of registration” for the substitute registration will be the same as the effective date of registration for the initial registration.

 

Examples:

 

• On April 10, 2005 Pick Up Sticks LLC submitted an application to register an album and asserted a claim in “music, lyrics, and sound recording.” The Office registered the claim in class SR. Pick Up Sticks subsequently filed an application for supplementary registration stating that the company owns the music and lyrics embodied in this album, but does not own the copyright in the sound recording. Pick Up Sticks should have registered this claim in class PA, rather than class SR. The Office will cancel the initial registration and will issue a new registration in class PA with an effective date of registration of April 10, 2005.

 

• Tally Ho, Inc. submitted an application to register its website as a literary work and stated that the site has been published in the United States. The Office issued a registration with an effective date of registration of August 20, 2009 and numbered the registration in series TX. On September 1, 2010 Tally Ho filed an application for supplementary registration stating that the website is, in fact, unpublished; therefore, the registration should have been numbered in series TXu. The Office will not cancel the basic registration, but instead, will issue a new registration in the correct series with an effective date of registration of September 1, 2010.