Copyright Compendium

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Chapter 200
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Chapter 2100
Chapter 2200
Chapter 2300
Chapter 2400

2002.2 Treatment of Foreign Works

2002.2 Treatment of Foreign Works


In the vast majority of cases, a foreign work may be registered with the U.S. Copyright Office if it satisfies the eligibility requirements discussed in Section 2003. However, this does not mean that foreign works are treated exactly the same as domestic works. U.S. law applies whenever a United States work or a foreign work is involved in a copyright infringement lawsuit in this country. Before the copyright owner can file a lawsuit involving an infringement of a U.S. work, the work must be registered with the Office or the Office must issue a refusal to register that work. In addition, U.S. works must be registered in a timely manner to seek statutory damages and attorney’s fees. By contrast, foreign works do not need to be registered (or refused registration) in order to file an infringement lawsuit in the United States, though they must be registered in a timely manner to seek statutory damages and attorney’s fees.

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