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2115.3 (E) Based on First Publication of a Work Registered as an Unpublished Work

2115.3 (E) Based on First Publication of a Work Registered as an Unpublished Work


This option is appropriate when the sole basis of renewal registration is to register a renewal claim in the published edition of a work that secured statutory copyright under the Copyright Act of 1909 by registration as an unpublished work. Generally, it applies only to certain works of the visual and performing arts that could be registered as unpublished works,11 but it also may apply to nondramatic literary works prepared for oral delivery, presentation, or performance when such works were registered for the original term as unpublished works. When a renewal registration is based on this option, the registration number and effective date of the original registration record for the unpublished work are required because the registration established the copyright term and the vesting date of the renewal copyright, regardless of the date of first publication. See Section 2115.2 (D).


Renewal registration on this basis is possible only when the copyright secured by the registration of the unpublished work was still in effect at the time of first publication, it was maintained by the published edition, and it is still subsisting at the time of renewal registration. To maintain the copyright secured by the original registration for the unpublished work, a work first published before January 1, 1978 had to meet the statutory requirements of the Copyright Act of 1909. Works first published between January 1, 1978 and March 1, 1989 had to meet the statutory requirements of the Copyright Act of 1976, as enacted at the time of first publication. Works of foreign origin also had to meet eligibility criteria as of the date of first publication.


NOTE: A renewal claim based on first publication cannot be combined with a renewal claim in new material added to the published edition because the vesting date of the renewal copyright in the work as first published was determined by the original registration for the unpublished work, whereas the vesting date of the renewal copyright (if any) in the new material was determined by the date of first publication.


NOTE: When a work was registered as an unpublished work before 1978, a new basic registration for the work as first published is not appropriate because the original term of copyright that was secured by registration has expired.


11 For information concerning the classes of works that could be registered under the 1909 Act, see Section 2114 and footnote 6.

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