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

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2311 Abandonment


2311 Abandonment


The U.S. Copyright Office may record an affidavit, declaration, statement, or any other document purporting to abandon a claim to copyright or any of the exclusive rights granted to copyright owners under Sections 106 or 106A of the Copyright Act, provided that the following requirements have been met:


• Content of the document. The document should identify the claim that is subject to the abandonment, preferably including the author(s), title(s), and registration number(s) for the works (if any). It should provide the full name of the party who signed the document, and it should state that the party is the current owner or co- owner of the copyright and/or the exclusive rights in the work. It should state that the rights specified in the document have been abandoned. The document does not need to provide a reason or justification for the owner’s decision to abandon the copyright and/or the exclusive rights specified in the document. However, the document should be legible and capable of being imaged or otherwise reproduced by the technology employed by the Office at the time of its submission. 37 C.F.R. § 201.4 (C) (3).


• Signature. The document should be signed by the current owner or co-owners of the rights specified in the document or by an authorized representative of such owner(s). If the copyright has been registered, the document should be signed by the copyright claimant(s) named in the certificate of registration or by an authorized agent of the copyright claimant(s). If the copyright has been transferred or assigned to a party who is not named in the certificate, or if the copyright has not been registered, the document should be signed by all of the owners or co-owners of the rights specified in the document or by an authorized agent of such owner(s). In all cases, the document must contain the actual signature(s) of the person or person(s) who executed the document or a legible photocopy or other facsimile of the signature together with a sworn certification that satisfies the requirements set forth in Section 201.4 (C) (1) of the regulations.


• Filing fee. The remitter should submit the appropriate filing fee. The fee for recording an abandonment is the same as the fee for recording a document pertaining to copyright. For information concerning this fee, see Section 2309.11 above.


To record an abandonment, the remitter should submit a signed copy of the document to the following address together with the appropriate filing fee:


Library of Congress

U.S. Copyright Office-DOC 101 Independence Avenue SE Washington, DC 20559-6000


In the alternative, the document and the filing fee may be delivered by hand to the Public Information Office at the address specified in Chapter 200, Section 204.1 (B) (3). The Public Information Office will provide the remitter with a date-stamped receipt that lists the title of no more than one of the works listed in the abandonment.


The Office will record an abandonment as a document pertaining to copyright without offering any opinion as to the legal effect of the document. The document will be returned to the party that submitted it, along with a certificate of recordation. In addition, the Office will create an online public record that identifies the title and registration number (if any) for the first work listed in the document, the name of the party who executed the document, the date of execution, the document number assigned to the recorded document, and the date of recordation. However, the Office will not cross-reference this record with the online public record for the registration(s) referenced in the document (if any).


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