Copyright Compendium

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Chapter 2400

1909.1 Unpublished Work Embodied in a Published Work

 

1909.1 Unpublished Work Embodied in a Published Work

 

An unpublished work is considered published when it is embodied in another work of authorship that has been published, but only to the extent that the unpublished work is disclosed in the published work.

 

Examples:

 

• When an unpublished screenplay is used in the creation of a motion picture, the elements of that screenplay that appear in the motion picture are published when (I) copies of the motion picture are distributed to the public, or (ii) when copies of the motion picture are offered to a group of persons for further distribution, public performance, or public display.

 

• When an unpublished musical work is incorporated in a distributed sound recording, the elements of that work that are incorporated into the sound recording are published when (I) copies of the sound recording are distributed to the public, or (ii) when copies of the sound recording are offered to a group of persons for further distribution, public performance, or public display.

 

• When an unpublished painting is reproduced in a book, the elements of the painting that appear in the book are published when (I) copies of the book are distributed to the public, or (ii) when copies of the book are offered to a group of persons for further distribution, public performance, or public display.

 

• When an unpublished sculpture is featured in a motion picture, the publication of the motion picture may publish the sculpture if the motion picture discloses a sufficient amount of three-dimensional authorship to effectuate a publication of a sculptural work.