Copyright Compendium

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2114 Establishing Eligibility for Published Works Not Registered for the Original Term

 

2114 Establishing Eligibility for Published Works Not Registered for the Original Term

 

When a work was not registered for the original term, certain information must be provided to establish eligibility for renewal term registration. Factors that may determine eligibility include:

 

• First publication between 1964 and 1977.

 

NOTE: For information about renewal registration for the first published edition of a work registered as an unpublished work between 1964 and 1977, see Section 2115.3 (E).

 

• First publication with the statutory2 or U.C.C. notice, with all copies or phonorecords distributed in the United States until March 1, 1989 bearing an acceptable copyright notice.3

 

• The author’s nationality and place of domicile at the time of first publication.

 

• The place of first publication.

 

NOTE: Generally, eligibility under the Copyright Act of 1909 is based on the nationality and domicile of the author at the time, rather than the place, of first publication. In certain cases, however, the place of publication may be the deciding factor, for example, when the work (or the larger work) was:

• First published in the United States and it was subject to the manufacturing clause; or

 

• Created by an author, other than a U.S. author, and first published in a U.C.C. country; or

 

• Published simultaneously in the United States.

 

• The manufacturing clause.

 

• Registrability of subject matter. While Section 4 of the Copyright Act of 1909 stated that copyright may be secured for “all the writings of an author,” not all works were registrable. Copyright Act of 1909, Pub. L. No. 60-349, § 4, 35 Stat. 1075, 1076 (1909).4 As enacted in 1909, Section 5 provided for eleven classes of registrable works. Id. § 5, 35 Stat. at 1076-77.5 Within these classes, only certain classes could be registered prior to publication. Id. § 11, 35 Stat. at 1078.6

 

2 For information concerning notice requirements for works published before 1978, see 37 C.F.R. § 202.2.

 

3 For information concerning notice requirements for works first published between January 1, 1978 and March 1, 1989, see Circular 3, Copyright Notice.

 

4 See also U.S. COPYRIGHT OFFICE, STUDY NO. 3: THE MEANING OF “WRITINGS” IN THE COPYRIGHT CLAUSE OF THE CONSTITUTION (1956).

 

5 This section was expanded in 1912 to include motion-picture photoplays and motion-pictures other than photoplays, and again in 1971 to include sound recordings. Pub. L. No. 62-303, 37 Stat. 488, 488-89 (1912); Pub. L. No. 92-140, § 1, 85 Stat. 391, 391 (1971). For information concerning architectural works, choreographic works, and computer programs, see Sections 2121.6, 2122.3, and 2120, respectively.

 

6 This section was expanded in 1912 to include motion pictures.