Compendium of U.S. Copyright Practices, 3rd Edition

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2118 Nondramatic Literary Works (Books)


2118 Nondramatic Literary Works (Books)


This class of works was registered for the original term under class A as published works and, since 1978 under class TX. Such works (fiction and nonfiction, poetry, etc.) were referred to as “books” in the Copyright Act of 1909.23


To be eligible for renewal registration, books had to secure the full original term of copyright in the United States by meeting certain requirements based on the language of the text, the nationality and domicile of the author, and the nation of first publication. U.C.C. works were exempt from some requirements, including the manufacturing requirements. Even so, the manufacturing clause remains a key factor in determining whether a book is eligible for renewal registration.


The following types of books are subject to the manufacturing clause:


• Books written in the English language (except U.C.C. works);


• Books written by a U.S. national or domiciliary;


• Books that were first published in the United States.


Another determining factor is the nationality and domicile of the author at the time of first publication; the place of publication is generally immaterial except when a book was:


• First published in the United States; or


• First published in a U.C.C. country (other than the United States) and the author was not a U.S. national or domiciliary at the time of first publication. See U.S. COPYRIGHT OFFICE, UNITED STATES COPYRIGHT RELATIONS OF CURRENT INTEREST (1960).


23 For a discussion of unpublished, nondramatic literary works prepared for oral delivery (lectures, sermons, addresses), see Section 2122.4.


In nearly all cases, books had to be published with a copyright notice as specified in Sections 19 and 20, or 9 (C) of the Copyright Act of 1909 (as amended), whether published in the United States or abroad.


Exception: It was possible to secure ad interim copyright in an English-language book published abroad without the required notice. However, to secure the full original term of copyright in the United States, such books had to be manufactured and published in this country with the statutory or U.C.C. notice while ad interim copyright subsisted, and to maintain copyright, every copy published in the United States had to bear the required copyright notice.


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