Copyright Compendium

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2142 Restored Copyrights for Works Governed by the Copyright Act of 1909

2142 Restored Copyrights for Works Governed by the Copyright Act of 1909


The Uruguay Round Agreements Act (“URAA”), which took effect in the United States on January 1, 1996, provides for automatic restoration of statutory protection in the United States on that date (or the date of adherence or proclamation of the source country, if later) for certain works whose copyrights in the United States had been lost due to noncompliance with formalities (such as first publication without a copyright notice, noncompliance with the manufacturing clause, or failure to register a basic or renewal claim before the original term expired) or due to lack of eligibility or subject matter protection (in the case of sound recordings). For a copyright to be restored under this provision, the work had to have met certain criteria at the time of creation and first publication.


The URAA applies to pre-1978 works as well as post-1978 works. Generally, the provisions apply to published works of foreign origin, but they also may apply to certain unpublished works that were registered for the original term, or in the case of sound recordings, to those fixed prior to February 15, 1972.


For a general discussion of restored works and the registration requirements for such works, see Chapter 2000, Section 2007.