2126 Published Collections
When separate, distinct works are assembled and published together in a collection, renewal registration may be possible for both the collection and the contributions. The extent of a renewal claim in a published collection29 as a whole depends on the statutory basis of the renewal claim.
Generally, when the published collection is a personal work the renewal claim cannot extend beyond the authorship contributed by the individual author, regardless of the extent of the original registration record. Likewise, when the renewal copyright is claimed on the basis that the work is a posthumous work, a work made for hire, or a work copyrighted by a corporate body other than as an assignee or licensee, the renewal works could be registered together for the original term as an unpublished collection when all of the following conditions were met:
• The collection was assembled in an orderly arrangement;
• The collection bore a single title identifying the collection as a whole;
• The collection as a whole is the subject of a single claim of copyright;
• All of the component works are by the same author, or (if the component works are by different authors) the collection as a whole represents the work of a single author in its compilation; and
• The component works are all of the same class, or the component works are principally of the class in which the collection is to be registered.
COMPENDIUM (FIRST) Supplementary Practice No. 3.
29 While the Copyright Act of 1909 and Office regulations did not refer to or define the term “collective work,” many nondramatic literary works published before 1978 were registered for the original term as “collective works” between 1978 and 2005. In addition, this term has been generally used for renewal registration purposes to describe published works in which an individual author may claim the renewal copyright in a contribution separate from the collection as a whole, as in a “contribution to a collective work.” Recently, however, the Office has determined that the term “collective work” is not applicable to renewal registration. Therefore, the Compendium of U.S. Copyright Practices, Third Edition uses the term “published collection” to refer to published works that are collective, rather than unitary, in nature claim cannot extend beyond the material that was published posthumously, or created as a work made for hire, or copyrighted by the corporate body.
Generally, when the published collection is a composite work, the renewal claim may extend to the entire work. In such cases, however, the U.S. Copyright Office may request examining material or additional information to determine whether the extent and the statutory basis of the renewal claim are appropriate.
Exception: When the contributions first published in a collection bear separate copyright notices, renewal registration for the published collection does not extend to the contributions, regardless of the statutory basis of the renewal claim, and even when the renewal copyrights in the contributions and the published collection as a whole vested in the same party on the same date. In such cases, renewal registration for the collection should be limited to the compilation or editorial authorship. For more information about registration of a contribution first published with a separate notice, see Section 2127.
To be registered for the renewal term on the statutory basis of being a composite work, a published collection must be a literary work having separate, distinct contributions by a number of authors on a variety of subjects. For example, a proprietor may claim the renewal copyright in a periodical or encyclopedia having separate, distinct contributions by various authors, or in an anthology of poetry by a number of authors on a variety of subjects on the basis that the work is a composite work. By contrast, a proprietor may not claim the renewal copyright in a work such as a collection of short stories or poems by only a few authors on the basis that the work is a composite work.
NOTE: While a renewal claim in the name of the proprietor of a composite work may be made in the work as a whole, it is unclear whether the proprietor’s right to the renewal copyright extends to all parts that are not separately renewed. For works subject to the manufacturing clause, a renewal registration on this basis does not extend to any contribution or separate, distinct work or element of authorship that did not secure the full original term of copyright.
NOTE: Composite works and published collections do not include joint works or other unitary works which have overarching elements (such as a novel) or a common design consisting of component elements that are integral to the work as a whole (such as a motion picture).