Copyright Compendium

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2310.3 (C) When May a Grant Be Terminated Under Section 203?

 

2310.3 (C) When May a Grant Be Terminated Under Section 203?

 

A grant may be terminated under Section 203 during a five-year “termination period.” The beginning and ending of this period varies depending on whether the grant conveyed the right to publish the work.

 

• If the grant conveyed the right to publish the work, the termination period begins either thirty-five years after the date that the work was published under the grant, or forty years after the date that the grant was executed (whichever is earlier).

 

• If the grant did not convey the right to publish the work, the termination period begins thirty-five years after the date that the grant was executed.

 

17 U.S.C. § 203 (A) (3). The method for calculating the beginning and ending of the termination period is discussed in more detail in Sections 2310.3 (C) (1) and 2310.3 (C) (2) below.

 

In all cases, the author or the author’s heirs (if the author is deceased) must comply with the following requirements in order to terminate a grant under Section 203:

 

• Select an effective date of termination that falls within the five-year termination period;

 

• Serve a notice of termination on the grantee or the grantee’s successor in title not less than two years and not more than ten years before the effective date of termination; and

 

• Record the notice with the U.S. Copyright Office before the effective date of termination.

 

17 U.S.C. § 203 (A) (4).

 

If the terminating party selects an effective date that does not fall within the five-year termination period, fails to serve the notice in a timely manner, or fails to record the notice with the Office before the effective date, the termination will be invalid.