2115.5 (B) Determining the Party in Whom the Renewal Copyright Vested
Certain parties are entitled by law to claim the renewal copyright. Generally, the U.S. Copyright Office will not question the identity of the vested owner or the statutory basis of a renewal claim when this information is consistent with the author facts in the original registration record or in the deposit copy, or with other facts available at the time of renewal registration. When the vested owner is not identified, the statutory basis is not given, or this information is unclear, the Office will request written verification from the applicant to clarify the party in whom the renewal copyright vested and the statutory basis. When the statutory basis is inconsistent with the author facts in the original registration or the deposit copy, see Section 2134. If the identity of the vested owner or the statutory basis of the renewal claim is in dispute, see Section 2137.
NOTE: The renewal copyright cannot vest in a deceased person or defunct organization. To be named as a vested owner, a person must have been alive, or an organization must have been in existence, on the date the renewal copyright vested.
The Office does not generally search its records to verify whether the party named as the vested owner was alive or in existence when the renewal copyright vested. However, if the Office is aware that a renewal claim fails to identify a valid owner, or provide a valid statutory basis for claiming the renewal copyright, the renewal claim will 14 Before 2007 (when Form RE was revised), renewal claims filed on behalf of a current owner provided the name of the vested owner and the vesting date in the basis of claim statement be refused. For example, the Office will refuse to register a renewal claim that identifies an author as a vested owner, when the author’s year of death precedes the vesting date.