1807.4 (E) Voluntary Cancellation
As a general rule, the decision to cancel a registration will be made solely by the U.S. Copyright Office acting on its own initiative. However, the Office may consider a request to cancel a registration, provided that the request is made by the copyright claimant named in the registration record or the claimant’s duly authorized agent and provided that the following requirements have been met:
• Content of the request: The request should identify the registration that will be surrendered for cancellation, including the author(s), title(s), claimant(s), and registration number. The request should provide the full name of the individual who signed the request and should state that that party is the claimant named in the certificate of registration or the claimant’s duly authorized agent. The request should be legible and capable of being imaged or otherwise reproduced by the technology employed by the Office at the time of its submission.
• Justification for the request: The request should demonstrate that the registration should be cancelled because the work was registered in the wrong class, because the filing fee has not been paid, because the work is uncopyrightable, or because there is a substantive defect in the registration.
• Signature: The request should be signed by the claimant named in the certificate of registration or the claimant’s duly authorized agent. The Office will accept a printed or typed signature. Likewise, the Office will accept a handwritten signature or a photocopy of a handwritten signature if it is accompanied by the typed or printed name of the person who signed the request.
• Payment: The request should be accompanied by the correct filing fee. See 37 C.F.R. § 201.3 (D) (11). The current fee is set forth in the Office’s fee schedule under the heading “Voluntary cancellation of registration.” The fee may be paid with a check or deposit account. For additional information concerning these payment methods, see Chapter 1400, Section 1412.4 and 1412.5.
The request should be sent to the following address:
U.S. Copyright Office RAC Division
P.O. Box 71380
Washington, DC 20024-1380
If the Office determines that the registration is invalid under 37 C.F.R. § 201.7 (C), it will cancel the registration and notify the claimant in writing.
The Office does not invite, and generally will not entertain, requests to cancel a registration by any party other than the claimant named in the certificate of registration. If the Office receives a request to cancel a registration from a third party, the Office will notify the claimant that the request was received and will provide the claimant with a copy of that request. However, the Office will not take any other action unless the claimant subsequently submits a request for voluntary cancellation.
• John Falcone registered a song titled “Let Us Prey.” The Office subsequently receives a letter from Robin Goodwin asserting that the registration should be cancelled, because John does not own the copyright in this work. The Office will not cancel the registration, although it will notify John that the request was received and will provide him with a copy of the letter. If Robin believes that she is the rightful owner of the copyright, she may submit a separate application to register the song in her own name.
• The Rational Group registered a work that contains a blank form combined with a substantial amount of text. The Office receives a letter from Entropy LLC stating that the registration should be cancelled, because blank forms are not copyrightable (citing § 202.1 (C) of the regulations).The Office will not cancel the registration, although it will notify the Rational Group that the request was received and will provide the claimant with a copy of the letter.
The Office will not reinstate a registration after it has been voluntarily cancelled. If the claimant would like to resubmit the claim, the claimant must submit a new application, new deposit copy(ies), and the correct filing fee. The effective date of registration will be based on the date that the new submission is received by the Office.