Copyright Compendium

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2314.4 Registration Distinguished from the Visual Arts Registry

2314.4 Registration Distinguished from the Visual Arts Registry


Recording a Visual Arts Registry Statement is optional, but it is not a substitute for registering the copyright in a work of visual art. In particular, it does not provide authors or copyright owners with the ability to claim statutory damages or attorney’s fees under Section 412 of the Copyright Act. Nor does it create a presumption concerning the validity of the copyright in a work of visual art.


Likewise, recording a Visual Arts Registry Statement is not a substitute for recording a document that transfers ownership of the copyright in that work, such as an assignment, exclusive license, security interest, or other type of transfer. If the copyright in a work of visual art has been transferred, that document should be recorded as a transfer of ownership under Section 205 of the Copyright Act, rather than recording a statement on the Visual Art Registry.


See General Provisions–Registry of Visual Art Incorporated in Buildings, 56 Fed. Reg. 38,340, 38,341 (Aug. 13, 1991).