Copyright Compendium

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210 When Does a Registration Expire?

210 When Does a Registration Expire?


Registrations and renewal registrations issued under the current statute (the 1976 Act) expire when the work enters the public domain in the United States. As discussed in Section 203, a copyrighted work enters the public domain in this country when the copyright term for that work has expired under U.S. law.


Registrations issued under the prior statute (the 1909 Act) expire at the end of the first twenty-eight years of the copyright term, and if the copyright is renewed, the renewal registration expires at the end of the renewal term. See Supplementary Registration, 81 Fed. Reg. 86,656, 86,660 n.23 (Dec. 1, 2016).


The fact that a work has entered the public domain in a foreign jurisdiction does not mean it has entered the public domain in the United States.

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