Copyright Compendium

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Chapter 2400

2115.5 (A) Determining When the Renewal Copyright Vested

2115.5 (A) Determining When the Renewal Copyright Vested


For purpose of renewal term registration, the renewal copyright vested on the first day of the renewal term. For works that secured copyright from 1950 through 1977, the renewal term began on January 1st of the 29th year following the effective date of registration as an unpublished work or the date of first publication.


Exception: When a work was first published with an earlier year date in the copyright notice, the renewal copyright vested on January 1 of the 29th year from the year date in the copyright notice. See Section 2115.2 (B).


Generally the vesting date is clear, but when the facts of first publication are not known, or a work was first published with multiple year date(s) in the copyright notice, or when an error or omission in an original registration record calls into question when the original term began or ended, it may be difficult to determine the vesting date. When it appears that the renewal ownership information may be premised on an inaccurate vesting date, the U.S. Copyright Office will notify the applicant, and will refuse registration unless the discrepancy is resolved. Likewise, when an applicant is unable to determine when the renewal copyright vested, the Office will refuse renewal registration. If the vesting date is disputed, see Section 2137.

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