Copyright Compendium

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2310.3 (C) (2) Terminating a Grant That Did Not Convey the Right of Publication

 

2310.3 (C) (2) Terminating a Grant That Did Not Convey the Right of Publication

 

If the grant did not convey the right to publish the work, then the beginning and ending of the termination period is based on the month, day, and year that the grant was executed. Specifically, the termination period begins thirty-five years after the date that the grant was executed, and it ends forty years after the date of execution. 17 U.S.C. § 203 (A) (3).

 

Example:

 

• On September 2, 1987 the author executed a contract to perform a work on a theatrical stage. For purposes of § 203 (A) (3), the contract did not convey the right of publication. The author authorized the theatre to perform the work, but did not authorize the theatre to distribute copies or phonorecords of the work to the public. Therefore, the five-year termination period begins on September 2, 2022 (thirty-five years from the date of execution). The termination period ends on September 2, 2027. If the author decides to make the termination effective on September 2, 2022 (which is the earliest possible date), the notice may be served as early as September 2, 2012, and it must be served no later than September 2, 2020. The notice must be recorded with the U.S. Copyright Office, and the date of recordation assigned to the notice must be no later than September 1, 2022. See S. REP. NO. 94-473, at 110 (1975).

 

(For information concerning the requirements for establishing a date of recordation, see Section 2310.10.)

 

The Office has posted a table on its website that may be useful in identifying the beginning and ending of the termination period for a grant that did not convey the right of publication. This table may also be useful in selecting an effective date of termination and for calculating the relevant deadlines for serving a notice of termination on the grantee and for recording the notice with the Office.

 

NOTE: The beginning and the end of the termination period are not based on the beginning or end of the calendar year, unless the date of execution happens to fall on January 1st or December 31st.